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Saudi Electricity Company staff accused in corruption case

Saudi Arabia’s anti-corruption body has accused executives and employees of Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) of misusing public funds, it said in a statement on Sunday referring the case for prosecution.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission, or Nazaha, said it had identified irregularities in eight contracts concluded by the state-controlled utility company’s employees in Eastern Province worth more than 80 million riyal ($21.33 million), mostly involving the purchase of mispriced licences.

The statement said those accused included employees, executives and one former executive. It did not give further details.

Saudi Electricity Company said in a written statement that its internal controls had first picked up on the evidence of wrongdoing and that it was cooperating fully with authorities on the case.

Saudi Arabia created Nazaha in 2011 as part of efforts to bolster confidence in the government at a time when popular unrest was sweeping the Arab world and ultimately led to the overthrow of several governments.

Economic reforms announced last year also pledged to make the government more transparent and impose zero tolerance for corruption.