Saudi Arabia removes public security chief over corruption

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King Salman has removed Saudi Arabia’s public security director from his position over corruption charges.

Lt. Gen. Khalid bin Qarar Al-Harbi had been taking public funds for his personal benefit, Saudi Press Agency reported.

He is accused of several crimes including forgery, bribery, and abusing power along with with 18 private and public sector employees.

His services have been terminated and he will be retired and referred for investigation by the Oversight and Anti-corruption Authority (Nazaha).

Meanwhile, a Saudi Ministry of National Guard major general and three retired officers of the same rank were among high-profile officials arrested and investigated in the latest batch of corruption cases handled by authorities in the Kingdom.

As part of its zero-tolerance stance toward illegal activities in public office, Nazaha launched legal procedures against numerous individuals accused over a range of financial and administrative crimes.

In one case, the director of a major contracting company’s project management department was arrested along with five retirees made up of a lieutenant colonel, brigadier general, government employee, senior Ministry of Interior official, and another Ministry of National Guard major general.

And a retired Ministry of Interior worker was also probed for receiving paid travel expenses from the contracting firm.

As part of its zero-tolerance stance toward illegal activities in public office, the country’s Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) launched legal procedures against numerous individuals accused over a range of financial and administrative crimes.

Meanwhile, a retired Nazaha colonel and a citizen were investigated for accepting financial bribes in exchange for not processing corruption cases and two other authority employees were held for breaching their official duties.

Criminal investigators quizzed a noncommissioned Nazaha officer for contacting a citizen and claiming there was a corruption case against him in order to get a financial lawsuit, filed against a relative of the officer, dropped.

A former vice rector was arrested after authorities discovered SR13 million ($3.4 million) stashed away in personal bank accounts, and real estate assets amounting to 19 properties. His bank statements showed deposits and transfers received from commercial contractors at the university where he worked. In another case, a military employee at a Ministry of Interior ammunition depot was accused of allowing two citizens to illegally obtain 12,467 bullets in return for SR51,000 ($13,600). The citizens were also arrested.

Separately, three Interior Ministry military officers were arrested for releasing an illegal expat from a police department in exchange for a bribe of SR15,000, and a noncommissioned officer in a regional police department was investigated for pocketing SR30 million from selling random plots of land, with no deeds, in areas he was in charge of.

A former head of the review board in one of the general courts was arrested for receiving SR2 million from an owner of a property (who was also held), in exchange for completing the ownership transfer process of land owned by a cooperative association.

Nazaha officers questioned the head of a charity association over claims he had awarded projects worth SR6 million to, and funneled association funds into, commercial entities he owned.

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