Saudi: 50% Increase In Corruption Complaints

Official complaints of corruption went up by 50% in 2018 as the kingdom strives to battle financial and administrative misconduct.

According to statistics released by the Saudi National Anti-Corruption Commission, Nazaha received 15,591 reports in 2018, compared to 10,402 the previous year. Investigations have been completed for 59 per cent of the complaints, with 4.4% referred to the Control and Investigation Board, and 3.37% to the kingdom’s Presidency of State Security.

Saudi Arabia has taken graft seriously in recent years, most visibly with its high profile corruption crackdown that ran from November 2017 to February this year. As part of the campaign, scores of princes, politicians and businessmen were rounded up and detained. Some 87 people confessed to charges against them and reached settlements that included the forfeiture of real estate, companies, cash and other assets. More than $106bn was recovered by the state through these settlements.

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In January, the kingdom also suspended 126 local government employees from various municipalities on corruption charges.

Writing on Twitter at the time, the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs said: “They are charged with involvement in a number of cases including financial and managerial corruption, abuse of power as well as other legal and criminal violations.”

Subsequent to the 2017 crackdown, Saudi Arabia launched a new office to monitor state spending. The financial reporting office is part of the state’s General Auditing Bureau, which watches out for financial discrepancies.

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Source: Gulf Business