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Saudi arrests hundreds of employees on corruption charges

A Member of the Saudi special police unit stands guard during a military parade in Mecca on 17 September 2015 [MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH/AFP via Getty Images]
A member of the Saudi police in Saudi Arabia on 17 September 2015 [MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH/AFP/Getty Images]

Saudi Arabian authorities have arrested at least 241 employees of several ministries as part of an anti-corruption campaign, Anadolu reported.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) said that the employees were arrested over their involvement in corruption, fraud, bribery, forgery and abuse of power.

Nazaha said the accused included employees from the ministries of interior, health, municipal and rural affairs, housing, education, human resources and social development, customs and the postal service.

The arrest of the suspects, both citizens and expatriates, was made after investigations were carried out into the alleged role of 757 people, Nazaha said in its statement, adding that the legal procedures are being completed prior to the cases being referred to court.

Last January, Al Jazeera reported that 32 people were arrested following an investigation into the illegal transfer of $3.1 billion out of the country.

According to Nazaha, employees at the Saudi Central Bank were reportedly taking bribes from an organised group of expats and businessmen to accept deposits from unknown sources and then transfer the money out of the country.

In March 2018, the King Salman Bin Abdulaziz approved the formation of several bodies specialised in fighting corruption.

On 31 October 2020, many senior officials were arrested on corruption charges, including a former Shura Council member and senior officers.

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