Eleven persons and commercial entities have been handed down a total of 65 jail years and ordered to pay over SR29 million after they were found guilty of smuggling subsidised diesel outside Saudi Arabia, an official source at the kingdom’s public prosecution has said.
The defendants, including expatriates, had been charged with setting up an organised crime racket with the intention of embezzling public money, the Saudi news agency SPA quoted the source as saying.
Investigations had revealed that the offenders had bought large quantities of diesel subsidised by the state, taking advantage of owning fuel stations, and illegally resold it to others who smuggled to outside the kingdom for sale in other countries, the source added.
The suspects were also charged with other crimes including money laundering, forgery, cover-up and breaches of the bank monitoring system.
They were arrested and put on trial at a specialised court that convicted them and also ordered the confiscation of assets and facilities used in the crime and the collected revenues, according to the source.
Penalties, moreover, include banning the commercial entities involved from dealing with the government agencies, revoking licences of the fuel stations owned by the defendants and deporting the convicted expatriates from the kingdom after serving their sentences.