RIYADH: A Public Prosecution source stated that the investigation team in its financial fraud unit charged 23 people and commercial entities, including a citizen and her expatriate husband, with organizing the criminal formation of financial fraud.
The investigation revealed a number of reports had been received about victims being defrauded by scam investments in virtual currencies, gold, oil, prepaid cards and foreign investments.
Upon obtaining the bank account numbers of the victims, sums of money were withdrawn and transferred to accounts in the names of fictitious persons and commercial entities, and then transferred outside the Kingdom.
The investigation revealed that the expatriate, the citizen’s husband, persuaded male and female citizens to open fictitious technical commercial entities in their names and open bank accounts for them. Bank accounts were managed by him and used to receive money from the victims and transfer them outside the Kingdom.
Investigation procedures revealed that the perpetrators recycled some money by transferring it between the accounts of the victims, as they asked them to transfer money to other victims and convinced them that this money was the result of their trading profits, tempting them to get rich quick and double the value of the amounts they transferred to the perpetrators.
The source said that the accused created websites to display the fake investment portfolios of the victims.
The perpetrators were arrested and referred to the competent court on charges of “financial fraud, money laundering, forgery, and violating the systems of combating information crimes and combating concealment.”
The group were sentenced to imprisonment for periods totaling 111 years, fines amounting to SR28.6 million ($7.4 million), confiscation of a similar value for the money with which the crimes were committed, confiscation of proceeds from the crimes, including four real estates and vehicles, confiscation of electronic devices used in the activities, canceling of commercial licenses for entities, and the deportation of the expatriates from the Kingdom after the end of their prison term.
The International Cooperation Prosecution initiated procedures for recovering money from countries and prosecuting its recipients.