Cairo: Saudi Arabia has convicted a number of top security officers and a prince in several corruption cases related to forgery, bribery, waste of public money and influence peddling, according to a state anti-graft watchdog, the latest in a clampdown on corruption in the country.
Rulings were recently passed by the circuits of financial and administrative corruption at a court in Riyadh after the defendants were convicted in the different cases, an official source at the Saudi Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority said.
A prominent case involved a prince, who was an employee at the Ministry of Municipal and Village Affairs, a cadet at a military college affiliated to the Defence Ministry, and an Arab expatriate. The royal and the cadet were found guilty of using forged education qualifications to get government jobs while the expatriate acted as a mediator in helping them obtain the certificates, the source said.
Preliminary court rulings issued in the case included sentencing the prince to two years in prison along with a fine of SR100,000, handing down an 18-month jail term to the cadet with a fine SR50,000 while the third defendant was sentenced to one year in jail and ordered to pay a fine of SR20,000.
In a second case, a preliminary verdict was issued convicting a commander with the rank of a major general at a security sector in the Interior Ministry on charges of forgery, administrative misuse and influence peddling to gain personal interests and deal in private business. He was handed down an eight-year jail term and a fine of SR160,000.
Another officer with the rank of a major working at the same sector was convicted of complicity in forgery and administrative misuse. He was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of SR100,000.
In the same vein, a non-commissioned officer working at the same sector was convicted of forgery and given a three-year jail term along with a fine of SR200,000, the source said.
An officer with the rank of a brigadier working at a different security sector in the Interior Ministry was convicted of complicity with the major general in administrative misuse and illegally involved in private business. He was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of SR10,000.
A businessman, convicted of administrative misuse and money laundering, was given a jail term of four and half years and ordered to pay a fine of SR150,000 as well as a three-year travel ban.
Another businessman was convicted of forging official documents and was handed down two years in prison along with a fine of SR200,000.
In a third case, a security commander with the rank of a major general was convicted of forgery, influence peddling, waste of public money and administrative use. He was given a preliminary sentence of 10 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of SR200,000.
Four other officers working at the same sector were convicted of forgery, job abuse, complicity in waste of public money and administrative misuse. They were sentenced to jail terms ranging from three to six years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of SR50,000 each.
Moreover, a businessman was convicted of wasting public money and sentenced to five years in prison.
In recent years, Saudi Arabia has stepped up a crackdown on white-collar corruption, arresting dozens of state employees and entrepreneurs.