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Financial crimes in Saudi Arabia down 15 per cent

Anti-graft bodies stepped up their efforts to crackdown on corruption and sought to prevent it

Financial crimes in Saudi Arabia dwindled by 15 per cent in 2014 as authorities sought stiffer penalties and more robust enforcement of laws, observers and analysts said.

They add that the most prominent punishment that effectively drove financial crimes down is naming and shaming – disclosing the names of perpetrators and wrongdoers to the public.

They noted that stable economic conditions and higher government spending on public projects led, directly and indirectly, to better living conditions for individuals, thus reflecting on financial crimes incidence.

In remarks to Al-Eqtisadiah, they emphasised that the Saudi government has attached a great deal of attention to upgrade anti-graft legislation and speed up litigation procedures with regards to financial crimes.

Ali al-Tawati, a security expert, said anti-graft bodies stepped up their efforts to crackdown on corruption and sought to prevent it in the first place.

He added that state bodies started to extend hefty salaries and cash rewards to officials and employees so they would shun wrongdoing and abide by ethical standards.

Abdulrahman al-Rashid, a member of the Saudi Shura council, said empowering the judiciary and activating quicker litigation procedures played a major role in slashing financial crimes.

In general, he noted, generous state spending and rewards trimmed financial crimes such as embezzlement and bribery.