JEDDAH: The Kingdom’s Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) has arrested 65 Saudis and expats while 411 are still under investigation as the agency continues its crackdown against fraud, bribery and other crimes.
Among those incarcerated, 48 were government employees from seven different ministries. Others detained were employees from the Presidency of State Security, the Saudi Food and Drug Authority and the General Authority of Meteorology and Environment Protection.
The arrest charges include bribery, abuse of influence and power, as well as fraud and forgery.
“Nazaha is standing up against financial and administrative corruption,” Majed Garoub, a lawyer, told Arab News. “(The crackdown on corruption) is a reality and we’re witnessing its success every time we hear the good news of these arrests.”
Garoub said penalties for these offenses could include prison sentences and hefty fines. Stolen funds will be returned while compensation for inflicted damage may also be included.
These kinds of cases prove the private sector can be an element for growth, while simultaneously acting as an agent of corruption, Garoub said.
“Those who bribe the average worker — whether it be a judge, police officer or government employee — is a beneficiary from the private sector,” he said. “This is why we must care for the principles of disclosure, governance and transparency.”
Nazaha continues to ask citizens to protect and preserve public funds, which can be done by reporting suspicious financial or administrative activities.