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20 Saudi officials charged with fraud, bribery
October 31, 2013, 10:30 am

Twenty officials in Saudi Arabia have been charged with fraud and bribery involving SR5m ($1.3m), according to Arab News.

Six others, including businessmen, expatriates and employees in both the private and government sectors also have been charged.

The officials are from the Jeddah Municipality and will face trial next month. They have all pleaded not guilty.

One official claimed there was no evidence against him.

Last month, a former senior manager at the Land Grants Department in Jeddah also was accused of accepting bribes from businessmen and real estate agents totalling SR5m in exchange for revealing confidential information about various plots of land in a deal that gave the businessmen greater negotiating power in buying and selling the land.

The Public Prosecution Authority alleged the defendant confessed to receiving SR1m in bribes from real estate agents in return for facilitating titling procedures, and receiving almost SR4m from staff, businessmen and real estate traders for revealing confidential information related to land grants.

Real estate has become increasingly valuable in the kingdom, where development is taking off and housing is becoming scarce amid a rising population.


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