Saudi Arabia’s Anti-Corruption Authority Opens Coronavirus Housing Case

Nazaha, the Control and Anti-Corruption Authority, has opened a financial and administrative corruption case involving two senior employees at the General Directorate of Health Affairs in the Riyadh region, a hotel owner and six other individuals, Arab News reported.

An official source of “Nazaha” stated the nine violators are charged with exploitation the government’s expenditure to contain the COVID-19 crisis, and to provide adequate housing for repatriated citizens to spend their quarantine.

They asked hotels for commissions, for the opportunity to sign a contract with the Ministry of Health, resulting in providing exaggerated prices for the services requested.

A senior official at the Ministry of Tourism also violated standard behavior by providing exaggerated prices to the Ministry of Health for the purpose of providing housing for repatriated citizens to spend their quarantine. The investigation ended with his admission of breaching his job duties and overspending public money.

The authority also began building a case, in coordination with the Riyadh Police, against an expatriate’s falsification of 31 travel permits for the curfew period and selling them at a total value of SR93,000 ($24,755.15), Arab News adds.

This case’s details rose when a military officer tried to exploit the permit granted to him, by virtue of his job, for financial compensation. The officer cooperated with a relative working at the MOH and an expatriate to falsify the permits, while providing falsified claims that they were issued by the military sector for the purpose of selling them at SR3,000 ($798.55) each.

The authority emphasized that the violations made by any employee are individual actions and do do not reflect the authority in which they work in any way.

It will continue to exercise its powers, in accordance with the principle of the supremacy of the law, and to apply regulations against anyone who illegally infringes public money or breaches his or her job duties established by law.

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