Shoura ‘no’ to Nazaha monitoring accounts

Updated 06 November 2015

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 minister hails ‘special relationship’ with Japan

Updated 22 October 2019

Saudi minister hails ‘special relationship’ with Japan

  • “We share common values,” said Majid Al-Qasabi

TOKYO: Saudi Arabia has a “special relationship” with Japan, which is “reliable strategic partner and friend” of the Kingdom, the Saudi Minister for Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qasabi said on Monday.

The minister was speaking at the launch in Tokyo of the Japanese-language online edition of Arab News, in the latest stage of its global expansion. The event came on the eve of Tuesday’s ceremonial enthronement of Emperor Naruhito in the Japanese capital. “This is a great opportunity, a moment in history,” Al-Qasabi said.

The news website, published in Japanese and English, will focus on enabling the exchange of information between Japan and the Arab world in business, current affairs, and arts and culture. “It will be good to have news in Japanese so many Japanese can read about the Arab world,” Japan’s Defense Minister Taro Kono said at the launch.

Common values

“We share common values, we have a high respect for the elders and we think that the family is very important … to me we are friends and I think we need to work together.

“In order to do that we need to know what people in the Middle East are actually thinking, what is happening on a daily basis, and we haven’t got the source for that — but now Arab News is in Japan.

“This is a very good means to exchange information between the Middle East and Japan, so I am very much looking forward to it.”