The authorities in Saudi Arabia have sentenced 24 people to 20 years in prison each having found them guilty of money laundering, the Saudi Press Agency has reported. The gang was accused of money laundering a total of $4.5 billion.
According to the Court of Appeal in Riyadh, the gang members – both Saudi nationals and expatriates – used factories, companies, and medical facilities as fronts for commercial activities. They were apparently able to collect and deposit large sums of money before transferring the cash overseas.
In addition to the jail terms, the gang members were fined a total of $19.9 million. The Saudi nationals also had a 20-year travel ban imposed on them, coming into effect after their time in prison. The expatriates will be deported after serving their prison sentences.
The sentencing of the gang comes amid the Kingdom's ongoing drive to clamp down on money laundering and corruption. Last month alone, the Saudi Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) arrested hundreds of employees in government and national institutions on multiple charges of corruption. Those imprisoned included a judge and a governor.