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Gulf Today Report
Saudi Arabian authorities have arrested 32 people for transferring over 11 billion riyals outside the Kingdom.
An official source in the Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority stated that the authority, with the cooperation of the Saudi Central Bank, has initiated procedures on the information available about the involvement of bank employees who received bribes from an organised gang made up of residents and businessmen.
These people deposited cash sums received from unknown sources in the bank and then transferred them outside the Kingdom.
The authorities, by conducting field investigations and analysing commercial entities' bank accounts and linking them to customs imports, found out that cash deposited in the accounts of those entities amounted to 11,590,209,169 riyals, which was transferred outside the Kingdom. Subsequently, five residents were arrested while heading to a bank to deposit 9,784,268 riyals in cash.
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In addition, 7 businessmen, 12 bank employees, a non-commissioned officer in a region’s police department, 5 citizens, and 2 residents were arrested for their involvement in bribery, forgery, and misusing their position for illicit financial gain, commercial concealment, and money laundering. The case details are as follows:
Firstly, a businessman establishes a number of fake commercial entities under his name and the name of his wife and son and opens bank accounts. He then enables residents to use those accounts in exchange for a monthly payment that the businessman gets. The accounts are used by residents to deposit cash sums from unknown sources and transfer them abroad with the collusion of bank employees in exchange for receiving money and gifts.
The businessman pays 300,000 riyals to a non-commissioned officer in a police department in exchange for stalling his case that involves suspicious financial dealings, and pays 4,000,000 (four million) riyals to citizens (mediators) in exchange for their efforts to stall the same case in the Public Prosecution.
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Secondly, five businessmen establish a number of fake commercial entities, open bank accounts and enable residents to use those accounts in exchange for a monthly payment that they obtain. The accounts are used by residents to deposit cash from unknown sources and transfer them abroad with the collusion of bank employees in exchange for receiving money and gifts.
Thirdly, the “manager of a bank branch" follows a similar modus operandi, setting up fake bodies, opening bank accounts which are later used for siphoning off funds abroad.
Fourthly, a businessman brings in an expatriate and enables him to work in business inside the Kingdom in exchange for a monthly payment.
The Authority affirms it will pursue anyone who exploits public office to achieve personal gain or harms the people’s interest in any way possible, and that it will crack down on violators with zero tolerance. It would like also to thank the cooperation of citizens and residents in reporting through its available channels, including the toll-free number (980) for any forms or manifestations of practices involving financial or administrative corruption.
Brigadier General Mohammed Suhail Al Rashidi, Director of Criminal Security Sector at Abu Dhabi Police, affirmed that the police would be on the lookout for anyone who seeks to undermine the security of society and seize people's money fraudulently.
The Court also ordered the seizure of the proceeds of the money laundering crime and the property of equivalent value, sentenced the two accused to pay an amount of Dhs501,000 as temporary compensation for the two companies claiming civil rights.
The court also announced fines ranging from Dhs200,000 to Dhs10,000,000 for each accused, with confiscation of all funds seized from the accused, as well as confiscation of their bank balances, real estate, cars, computers, mobile phones, watches and jewellery.
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