11 defendants were sentenced to 52 years in prison and get SR62.5m in fines. The nine expatriates will be deported from the kingdom after serving their terms while the two Saudi defendants will be barred from travel abroad for a period equal to their sentences.
Cairo: A Saudi court had sentenced a gang of 11 people to a total of 52 years in prison after they were found guilty of money laundering worth SR10 billion, a prosecution official source said.
The convicts are two Saudi citizens and nine expatriates, the source added without giving a breakdown of the foreigners’ nationalities. The initial court ruling also orders the convicts to pay fines totaling SR62.5 million and confiscate the seized money and investment portfolios worth SR1.6 million. The nine expatriates will be deported from the kingdom after serving their terms while the two Saudi defendants will be barred from travel abroad for a period equal to their sentences.
They were charged with committing money laundering and violating the kingdom’s cover-up system by manipulating commercial entities in receiving and transferring money of unknown origin through their bank accounts valued at more than SR10 billion, according to the unnamed official.
Public prosecution has initiated procedures to appeal against the ruling, requesting tougher penalties against the defendants “to fulfill public interests in protecting the national economy,” the official added.
In recent years, the kingdom has launched a widespread crackdown against money laundering on one hand, and corruption on the other. Last month, Saudi Arabia’s Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) arrested 233 Saudis and expats while 641 others are still under investigation over corruption charges, local media reported.
Nazaha said the detainees were involved in administrative and financial crimes, including bribery, abuse of power and forgery.
The anti-corruption watchdog carried out 5,518 inspections that led to the arrest of 233 employees from the ministries of Defense, Interior, National Guard, Foreign Affairs, Health, Justice and Municipal, Rural and Housing Affairs.
The anti-graft body is still investigating 641 Saudis and expatriate residents over corruption charges.
February 13, 2022, published by Gulf News.