Shoura ‘no’ to Nazaha monitoring accounts

Updated 06 November 2015
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Shoura ‘no’ to Nazaha monitoring accounts

JEDDAH: The Shoura Council has rejected a recommendation for the National Anti-Corruption Commission (Nazaha) to monitor the bank accounts of people suspected of corruption.

The proposal was for the anti-graft body to work through the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), the Kingdom’s central bank, according to a report in a local publication.
The proposal was submitted by Saud Al-Subaie, head of the Shoura’s security committee, with the support of Saud Al-Shammari, head of the committee on human rights and supervisory bodies.
Al-Shammari argued that the recommendation was sound and did not violate any current banking rules. He said that while SAMA oversees the banking system, banks regulate themselves.
He said that banks report suspicious financial activities anyway, without any requests from the country’s security agencies. This information is submitted to the interior and finance ministries. The Nazaha would be a supervisory body working through SAMA, he said.
Shoura member Sultan Al-Sultan endorsed the proposal, saying that the authorities should also monitor the accounts of land owners when they start implementing the new tax on unused land in the country.
Another member, Fahd Al-Enzi, expressed concerns about the proposal and said it would require several amendments to banking laws, and cannot just involve approving a recommendation. He said the proposal was too wide-ranging and would “affect the economy considerably.”
Member Sami Al-Zaidan said the phrase “those suspected” cannot be used in place of “those accused of corruption.” He said details of accounts should only be disclosed by an order of the courts, and should not rest with the Nazaha or any other body.
Mohammed Al-Naji, who opposed the proposal, said that this type of monitoring is already being done through the Saudi Financial Investigation Unit, which receives reports of suspicious transactions.
The recommendation would negate the confidentiality clause clients have with their banks. They would no longer trust their banks and may close their accounts, he said.
However, the Shoura did approve a proposal for the Nazaha to get copies of the final court rulings issued on corruption cases, and to seek ways to recover stolen public funds.
The Shoura called on the Nazaha to work with the Ministry of Education to raise awareness about ethical behavior.


Saudi Arabia welcomes US decision on Iran oil sanction waivers

Updated 24 sec ago
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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.