Saudi Arabia exempts officials on suspicion of involvement in corruption in tourism projects

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Cairo: The Saudi Press Agency said today, Friday, that a royal order was issued to exempt a number of officials in tourism projects, including the giant Al-Ula and Red Sea projects, on suspicion of their involvement in corruption.

The agency said that investigations are focused on whether officials have facilitated the encroachment on land belonging to those projects.

Among those who were exempted were the governors of the coastal cities of Amlaj and Wajh in the north of the kingdom, the director general of the Border Guard, officials at the Ministry of Interior and other government agencies.

The Control and Anti-Corruption Authority is investigating officials over their responsibility for the encroachments on more than 5,000 plots of land from the Red Sea Project and dozens of plots in the historic Al-Ula city project, as well as the Soudah project in the city of Abha, southwest of the kingdom.

Saudi authorities detained dozens of members of the economic and political elite in 2017 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh, in a crackdown on corruption that alarmed some foreign investors.

The royal court said last year that it was ending the campaign, but authorities later said they would start a crackdown on corruption among ordinary government employees.

(Reuters)





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