The New Saudi Arabia

All news and information about the change in the new Saudi Arabia

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
Filter by Categories
Uncategorized

Saudi Arabia’s Nazaha, UNDP sign MoU to fight corruption

11/09/19

Nazaha President Mazen bin Ibrahim Al-Kahmous received in his office in Riyadh the UNDP’s resident representative in the Kingdom. (SPA)

The aim of the MoU is to establish a strategic partnership against corruption, and to support relevant initiatives, programs, projects and activities
RIYADH: The National Anti-Corruption Commission (Nazaha) okf Saudi Arabia and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to cooperate against corruption.
Nazaha President Mazen bin Ibrahim Al-Kahmous received in his office in Riyadh the UNDP’s resident representative in the Kingdom, Adam Bouloukos, and his delegation.
They reviewed both sides’ efforts, and explored ways to enhance cooperation against corruption.
The aim of the MoU is to establish a strategic partnership against corruption, and to support relevant initiatives, programs, projects and activities.
The meeting and the signing of the MoU were attended by Nazaha’s vice president for combatting corruption, Abdulmohsen bin Mohammed Al-Mehaisen, and its vice president for protecting integrity, Bandar bin Ahmed Aba Al-Khail.
Nazaha aims to create a work environment of integrity, transparency, honesty, justice and equality in the bodies that fall within its jurisdiction or specialization.

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home

Saudi Arabia’s Nazaha chief urges cooperation among Gulf anti-corruption agencies

10/09/19

The headquarters of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (Nazaha) in Riyadh. (Courtesy of Nazaha website)

RIYADH: The president of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (Nazaha) stressed the importance of continuing and enhancing cooperation and exchanging expertise among anti-corruption agencies in the Gulf to achieve regional security, stability, development and prosperity.

Mazen bin Ibrahim Al-Kahmous was speaking at a meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) anti-corruption agencies, which was held in Oman.

He thanked the sultanate and the council’s general secretariat for organizing the meeting, and expressed hope that the aspirations of the leaders of GCC countries will be achieved.

Nazaha aims to create a work environment of integrity, transparency, honesty, justice and equality in the bodies that fall within its jurisdiction or specialization.

According to official statistics, Nazaha received 15,591 reports in 2018 compared with 10,402 the previous year. Financial and administrative corruption cases made up the bulk of the reports.

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home

Saudi Arabia ‘deploys all efforts’ to fight corruption, attorney general says

Time: March 01, 2019

Sheikh Saud bin Abdullah Al-Mua’jab

RIYADH: Attorney General Sheikh Saud bin Abdullah Al-Mua’jab has said that the Kingdom has deployed all efforts to fight corruption, in accordance with the provisions and regulations of Islamic law (Shariah).

During his regular meeting with service chiefs of corruption cases, Al-Mua’jab noted these departments’ achievements, which had an influence on preserving integrity, promoting confidence and transparency in all procedures undertaken.

“The attorney general’s office has gained the trust of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who have constantly supported the office and the procedures it has taken to combat and eliminate corruption,” he said. “The office issued royal decree No. 24242 on Feb. 6, 2018, which approves establishing departments specialized in corruption cases at the attorney general’s office and undertaking the investigation and prosecution of those cases, and these departments are directly linked to the attorney general. This shows the responsibility the attorney general’s office has been entrusted with.”

“This great task of fighting and eradicating corruption is the essence of the work that you were entrusted with and the mission we have been assigned to achieve with dedication and competence,” he said.

He said that everyone knew of the efforts of the attorney general’s office in fighting corruption, which have been acclaimed by the international community.

Al-Mua’jab also requested dedication and diligence to complete investigation procedures with competence and efficiency to meet the expectations of the leadership in eradicating this menace, in accordance with high-accuracy plans and strategies and in conformity with Saudi Vision 2030.

  

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home

ru

KSA’s anti-graft agency Nazaha reports rise in corruption complaints

Time: February 19, 2019  

1 / 4
Nazaha has completed investigations into 59 percent of the complaints, with 4.4 percent referred to the Control and Investigation Board. (SPA)
  • Nazaha announced the statistics as part of the National Strategy for the Protection of Integrity and Combating Corruption and Vision 2030

JEDDAH: Complaints to the Saudi National Anti-Corruption Commission, Nazaha, have risen by 50 percent in a single year amid increasing efforts to combat financial and administrative misconduct in the Kingdom.
Nazaha received 15,591 reports in 2018 compared with 10,402 the previous year, according to statistics released by the commission.
Financial and administrative corruption cases made up the bulk of the reports.
Nazaha has completed investigations into 59 percent of the complaints, with 4.4 percent referred to the Control and Investigation Board and 3.37 percent to the Kingdom’s Presidency of State Security.
The commission’s smartphone app received 29 percent of the reports, followed by the website at 23.6 percent, while 19.2 percent of the complaints were made in person at Nazaha’s branches. AN Jeddah
Nazaha announced the statistics as part of the National Strategy for the Protection of Integrity and Combating Corruption and Vision 2030.

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home

ru

Moajab: Corruption follow-up to continue

Time: February 04, 2019  

Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al-Moajab launching the Public Prosecution’s Financial Reports Office at the headquarters of the General Auditing Bureau (GAB) along with Dr. Hussam Al-Anqari, chairman of GAB on Monday. — SPA

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Corruption is not restricted to particular companies or government authorities, and there will be follow-up of these companies by the concerned authorities, Saudi Press Agency quoted Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al-Moajab as stressing on Monday.

The Attorney General was launching the Public Prosecution’s Financial Reports Office at the headquarters of the General Auditing Bureau (GAB) along with Dr. Hussam Al-Anqari, chairman of GAB on Monday.

Al-Moajab said the Office is one of the common factors between the Public Prosecution and GAB. It will enable the latter to carry out specialized work in the auditing aspect and uncover financial violations, and then the Public Prosecution will conduct investigations and demand deterrent penalties against violators.

He stressed that the advancement and development the Kingdom is witnessing under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman require of all to exert more efforts and more cooperation to achieve the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which requires of all government authorities to work as a team.

He asserted that his visit comes within the sphere of combating corruption, monitoring state revenues and expenditures as well as the state’s fixed and movable assets, and ensuring their appropriate use.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link Saudi Gazette Home

ru

Saudi Shoura passes law to protect informants, witnesses, victims

Time: November 07, 2018 

The new law will encourage witnesses and informants to report their information without any kind of fear, threat or damage. (SPA)
  • Saudi Arabia has been working hard to battle corruption, and Al-Madhhab thinks this system will cover the loophole in previous systems

JEDDAH: The Shoura Council approved a proposed regulation on Tuesday that helps to protect informants, witnesses, experts and victims.
The proposal, which consists of 39 articles, protects informants from attacks, threats, material or moral harm, or anything that may adversely affect the giving of information.
Arab News caught up with Dr. Muadi Al-Madhhab, one of the Shoura members who proposed the draft. He said: “It aims to protect whistle-blowers who are reporting cases of corruption because in most cases those informants face managerial abuse, harassment and threats for coming forward with the truth.”
The Kingdom has been working hard to battle corruption, and Al-Madhhab thinks this system will cover the loophole in previous systems.
“As the Kingdom is part of many international organizations where this law is established and carried out, invoking it now will aid in investments, and preserving rights and maintaining transparency,” he said.
Al-Madhhab mentioned that the system was first proposed last year, and he believes it is one of the fastest systems to pass through the Shoura Council and get approved. It was merged with another proposal of a similar system to protect witnesses, victims and experts.

“The 39 articles cover aspects suggested by both the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Economy and Planning (about) how whistle-blowers can be protected, how they can report, who are the individuals warranting protection, the punishments toward those who reveal a whistle-blower’s identity and those who wish to harm them, as well as the experts, victims and witnesses.”
Al-Madhhab learned about the system during his studies and is now teaching variations of it at King Saud University. He said he decided to propose the system now due to “the timing,” and especially after the efforts of the National Authority for Combating Corruption, as it helps block the loophole in the system that many can use to escape justice.
The system will permeate both governmental and private sectors, and Al-Madhhab believes it will have fruitful outcomes in building trust, encouraging transparency and integrity among organizations, as well as establishing new opportunities for investment and raising the Kingdom to a higher pedestal.
Lawyer Dimah Alsharif told Arab News: “This long-awaited system will definitely encourage witnesses and informants to report their information without any kind of fear, threat or damage.”
She said that such a system emerging at a time when the Kingdom is battling corruption will help reduce corruption overall.
“This protection will also provide greater opportunity to monitor as much evidence as possible in the process of investigations, unlike in the past,” when these things took a long time to process owing to lack of evidence.

     

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home

ru

Post-corruption era investment good despite warnings by big bad news story wolves

Time : July 19, 2018

So what was all the fuss about? It looks as though Saudi Arabia is doing rather well in attracting money from the rest of the world, and even that the pace of foreign investment in the Kingdom has picked up since the anti-corruption drive last year.
Go back a few months, and the prophets of doom were predicting that the detentions of last November would deter international investors from putting their money into Saudi Arabia. They — mainly international news organizations keen to be first with a big bad news story — told us that it was all about the rule of law, and transparency, and reliability of legal jurisdictions.
They said that this would hit foreign direct investment (FDI) particularly hard, as overseas investors pondered whether their local partners in the Kingdom would be swept up in an anti-corruption purge. And they predicted it would have a knock-on effect on the Kingdom’s economy and financial markets.
In short, they predicted that it would undo all the positive sentiment that came out of the Future Investment Initiative that took place in the Ritz-Carlton in October, just days before the anti-corruption initiative was launched.
Well, by virtually every meaningful benchmark it just hasn’t happened.
It is still too early to say what the FDI statistics will show; the agencies calculate these quarterly rather than monthly, so we are still waiting for the figures for the final quarter of 2017. The trend for most of last year on FDI was gently rising from a record low in Q1, with a big leap in the third quarter.
It would not be surprising if some FDI decisions were postponed after the anti-corruption shock. Not because global investors like corruption, but because of the uncertainty after such a major event. The real gauge of the effect on FDI will be after we see the figures for the first quarter of 2018.
The private sector corporations that drive FDI are by their very nature involved on a direct level with their Saudi partners, and you might expect them to pause, even when those partners were not directly implicated in the corruption process.
There is anecdotal evidence that some businessmen have put investment decisions off, but so far nobody has come out and said they would not do business with Saudi Arabia in the post-corruption era. Perhaps they are having to re-calculate and remove the bribe premium they would have paid before?
But FDI figures are not the only measure of global investor sentiment. Global institutional investors, by contrast, make their decisions at arm’s length, based on cold hard financial and macro-economic fundamentals, and from these big players the view is virtually unanimous: It is business as usual.

The country’s financial policymakers are in the process of launching another big sovereign bond, perhaps rivaling the record-breaking $17.5 billion one raised in 2016. When that is done we will see what international debt market’s appetite is for Saudi debt. It would be a big surprise if any of the banks bidding for a slice of that action would pull out, citing concerns about due process.
Likewise, equity investors — admittedly comprised overwhelmingly of local institutions and individuals — do not appear concerned about the anti-corruption aftermath. Quite the opposite. The Tadawul is trading at its highest levels sine late 2015, and that can only get better once foreign investors come into the market with the upgrade by MSCI and other index compilers, expected in the summer.
All this is against an economic backdrop that is looking more benign than for some years. The IMF raised its GDP forecast to 1.6 percent back in January, the government said it will be 2.7 percent. Expect somewhere in the middle, but wherever, it represents an end to the recent recessionary trend.
The other way of assessing sentiment in post-corruption Saudi Arabia is through the opinions and actions of bankers and other financial professionals who do business there, and again, nobody seems to have been put off by the events of last November.
Western banks are bulking up their Saudi businesses with top level hires, the accounting and consulting firms are all putting more boots on the ground in Riyadh. The financial PR firms are swarming like sharks around the growing business there. Surely, if anybody had qualms about due process and the rule of law, it would be the spin doctors?
I’ve long suspected that, although the global financial profession might pay lip service to governance and regulatory issues in emerging markets, what they are really concerned about is the level of return they get from them.
In the long run, the anti-corruption campaign can only benefit the bottom line.

  • Frank Kane is an award-winning business journalist based in Dubai. He can be reached on Twitter @frankkanedubai

This article was first published in  ARAB NEWS

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  ARAB NEWS’ Home

am

Here’s why Saudi Prince Turki bin Abdullah’s still held

Time: July 11, 2018

Saudi Arabia has arrested a defense ministry official on charges of receiving a $267,000 bribe and abusing his position, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Tuesday.

“The official sought to facilitate irregular procedures for the disbursement of financial dues to a company, taking advantage of his professional influence,” a statement quoted Attorney General Sheikh Saud al-Mujib as saying.

Following a November 2017 Saudi corruption crackdown involving 381 corruption suspects, including 200 top business executives and investors, Saudi royals and government personalities, more than 2,000 bank accounts were frozen, and around $100bn were recovered in real estate, commercial entities, securities, cash and other assets.

Reuters said that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who also serves as defense minister, told a U.S. newspaper in February 2018, that the purge was like chemotherapy of “the cancer of corruption”.

Saudi Prince Turki bin Abdullah, son of late King Abdullah and a former governor of Riyadh, has spent the last 9 months detained, 5 of which in the glitzy Riyadh Ritz-Carlton hotel.

56 people are still in Saudi government custody, awaiting trial, after failing to be exonerated or reach financial settlements with the government, including Prince Turki.

We are wondering why he is still detailed. Are you?

 Chequered past

In late March, American pop singer, Cher, has tweeted her support for the royal, appealing to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to “be kind … and let him go”.

It didn’t happen.

Perhaps too many incidents of corruption needed investigation

Incident 1

Back in 2013, the Financial Times reported the U.S. Department of Justice was looking into the relationship between London-based Barclays and Prince Turki bin Abdullah, who then occupied the powerful post of governor of Riyadh.

The EU Reporter, a European business site, said the Justice Department wanted to know if Barclays violated the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act that forbids bribes or gifts in kind in return for lucrative business.

“The inquiry is centered around an incident that occurred in 2002 involving Barclays and (prince) Turki. The Prince’s company, Al-Obayya Corp. has for years acted as the local partner for foreign companies seeking to expand into the complicated and opaque Saudi market,” said EU Reporter.

It explained that Barclays was under investigation for payments to Turki through Al Obayya to destroy the creditworthiness of Saudi philanthropist and businessman Sheikh Mohammed bin Issa Al Jaber, whose construction company, Jadawel, had built two city compounds near Riyadh and Al Khobar in the Eastern Province in the 1990s used to house US military personnel.

“In 2002, the Saudi government defaulted on payments to Al Jaber, resulting in the collapse of the credit structure of close to a billion dollars that involved a consortium of Japanese, British, German and American banks,” said EU Reporter.

“Investigators in Riyadh have identified Turki bin Abdullah and Ibrahim Al-Assaf as major beneficiaries of the inexplicable decision by the Saudi government to default,” the EU media added.

Incident 2

A second incident involving Prince Turki, also co-founder of Petrosaudi, has to do with his company being embroiled in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal.

The United States, according to EU Reporter, was investigating a multi-billion-dollar embezzlement of public funds in this project.

“Saudi authorities also accuse Turki of taking advantage of his influence as governor of Riyadh to take a huge commission in the costly project to construct the city’s urban train network,” said the EU Reporter.

The reference was for the biggest rail project that Saudi is still currently building, the Riyadh Metro, where more than 43,000 construction workers are employed.

Rumblings in Metro matters

Incident 3

Prince Turki was one of the 11 princes detained as a part of the anti-corruption drive, and is accused of corruption in the Riyadh Metro project and taking advantage of his influence to award contracts to his own companies, according to Reuters.

This article was first published in AMEinfo

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link AMEinfo Home

ru

Saudi defense ministry official arrested on bribery charges

Time: July 11, 2018

Saudi Arabia has arrested a defense ministry official on charges of receiving a 1 million riyal ($267,000) bribe and abusing his position, the SPA state news agency reported on Tuesday.

“The official sought to facilitate irregular procedures for the disbursement of financial dues to a company, taking advantage of his professional influence,” a statement quoted Attorney General Sheikh Saud al-Mujib as saying.

It added that the official admitted the crime of bribery and the involvement of two others in the same case, who were also arrested. No names were given.

Last November, authorities detained hundreds of top businessmen and royals in November and held them for months at the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton Hotel in a sweeping anti-corruption investigation.

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who also serves as defense minister, told a U.S. newspaper in February the purge was like chemotherapy of “the cancer of corruption”.

This article was first published in Reuters

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link Reuters Home

ru

Changes in anti-bribery law gets the Shoura nod

Time: July 03, 2018 

RIYADH – The Shoura (Consultative) Council on Monday approved draft amendments in the Kingdom’s law to combat bribery. The amendments are aimed at protecting public utilities from corruption by all means, according to Yahya Al-Samaan, assistant president of the council.

The council session, chaired by its Deputy President Abdullah Al-Moatani, took the decision after reviewing the report prepared by the committee for security affairs. The draft amendments, read out by the committee Chairman Ata Al-Subaiti, also aimed to achieve sound procedures in combating and investigating bribery cases and putting suspects on trial, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.

During the deliberations, Al-Samaan said, several members supported the proposed amendments, which included some statutory amendments and emphasized the significance of these changes in eliminating corruption. The draft law, consisting of 23 articles, is aimed at combating bribe so as to consolidate the concept of inviolability of job and protect it from violations by applying the most severe penalties, including material and moral punitive measures. This also targets protecting the interests of the state and the national economy by bringing the employee under the purview of the anti-bribery law with ensuring the criteria for honesty and transparency.

According to Al-Samaan, the law also seeks to emphasize the provisions of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument. The convention was ratified by the Kingdom. Another objective of the amended law is to enhance the efficiency of administrative bodies and activating economic and social development programs.

The council also approved amendments in some articles of the draft Commercial Maritime Law after listening to a report presented by the committee of transport, communications and information technology. The Shoura session was held in the presence of Minister of the State and Member of the Cabinet for Shoura Affairs Muhammad Abu Saq.

Al-Samaan said the amendments, read out by the committee Chairman Saadun Al-Saadun, aimed at removing the discrepancy between the council and the government on some matters related to commercial maritime. In its recommendation, the committee had requested approval of some amendments to the draft regulations, which had resulted in a consensus between the Council and the government.

The draft law consists of 391 articles divided into ten sections.

This article was first published in Saudi Gazette

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link Saudi Gazette Home

ru