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Saudi university head admits to embezzling over $133 million in corruption case

October 30, 2022 at 10:14 am

The Saudi Arabia national flag [Chris McGrath/Getty Images]

A former head of a prominent Saudi university has admitted to embezzling hundreds of millions of dollars in funds, as the kingdom’s crackdown against corruption continues.

According to Saudi Arabia’s Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha), the former president of King Abdulaziz University, Abdulrahman Obaid al-Youbi, admitted to having stolen 500 million Saudi riyals (over $133 million) from university funds.

Speaking to the news outlet Al Arabiya, Nazaha’s spokesperson Ahmad al-Hussein said that the organisation began investigating al-Youbi – who was fired on Thursday – after discovering several financial violations, including exploiting his position to access multiple bank accounts belonging to the university.

After being interrogated by authorities, al-Youbi reportedly confessed to the accused crimes, and Nazaha seized the embezzled funds and returned them to the state treasury.

There are reported to be others who were involved in the case, with the Saudi anti-corruption body interrogating those suspects.

Over the past few years, Riyadh has enacted significant campaigns to target corruption within government and non-governmental bodies and institutions, with hundreds being fired, arrested and prosecuted for the crime on a regular basis.

READ: Saudi Arabia calls on Arab states to join regional anti-corruption network