No decision on freezing of ‘suspicious’ bank accounts

Updated 01 September 2014

No decision on freezing of ‘suspicious’ bank accounts

Local banks have not been given directives to freeze the accounts of foreign workers whose bank transactions are not proportionate to their wages, local media reported.
The Ministry of Interior, the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution and courts are the only authorities that have the right to request the seizure of bank accounts and make restrictions on financial movements, Talat Hafiz, secretary-general of the Media and Banking Awareness Committee, said.
The bank expert was denying earlier reports circulated by media that the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) had directed local banks to freeze suspicious accounts owned by foreign workers.
“Bank accounts are normally frozen by agencies in coordination with banks upon directives issued by SAMA because it is a regulatory agency tasked with dealing with commercial banks on issues related to money-laundering, terrorism and other security issues,” he said.
“Freezing bank accounts requires regulations and rules set forth by the Kingdom’s systems. The systems do not differentiate between citizens, residents or any legal entities, whether institutions or companies.”
“SAMA does not issue instructions directly to banks to seize or freeze accounts,” he said.
“Its role, rather, is executive. The agency receives orders from authorities on the seizure or freezing of bank accounts.” “Banks are tasked with verifying data, money sources and transactions provided by their customers,” he said.
He said that banks retain the right to ensure accuracy of data and legality of money.
Banks have various units assigned to fight money-laundering, terror financing and other forms of financial fraud, he pointed out.
The anti-money laundering law does not discriminate between account holders, whether citizens or residents, when monitoring suspicious transactions, he said.

Saudi Arabia welcomes US decision on Iran oil sanction waivers

Updated 23 April 2019

Saudi Arabia welcomes US decision on Iran oil sanction waivers

  • The Saudi minister said Iran uses state income to finance their dangerous policies
  • Saudi Arabia will work with other oil producing countries to stabilize international market

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has welcomed US Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo’s announcement that waivers on the sanctions on Iranian oil exports will be lifted, Saudi state agency SPA reported.

Saudi Arabia believes the US decision is a necessary step to pressure the Iranian government to stop jeopardizing peace and end their global support for terrorism, the Saudi Foreign Minister, Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf, said.

The Iranian regime uses the country’s income to finance dangerous policies without any consideration for international law, the minster added.

International pressures on Iran must continue until it stops interfering in the domestic affairs of other countries, he stressed.

Saudi Arabia will continue their strict adherence to the policies, which aim to stabilize international markets, and will not produce oil beyond the balance, Al-Assaf said.

The Kingdom will cooperate with other oil producing countries to produce enough oil for consumers, he added.