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1 February 2018 | Feature Article

Should We Follow Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman's Example In Retrieving Stolen Taxpayers' Cash?

Should We Follow Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman's Example In Retrieving Stolen Taxpayers' Cash?

Saudia Arabia's new crown prince, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has succeeded in getting corrupt wealthy Saudi nationals and foreign residents in the kingdom, to refund monies and assets totaling some U.S.$107 billion, thus far, which they cheated Saudi Arabia out of, over the years. It is an example we ought to follow in the fight against high-level corruption in Ghana, perhaps.

The question is: If we are going to grant amnesty to tax dodgers in the not too distant future, why do we not also grant immunity from prosecution to wealthy individuals who have cheated Mother Ghana in sundry crooked public procurement deals, if they agree to admit to their crimes and repay the sums they cheated our nation out of, plus interest? Every pesewa, of it, that is?

In that regard, to inspire those who currently lead our nation, we have culled a news story by Robert Anderson, from the online version of Gulf News, which reports the latest success of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's anti-corruption drive in Saudi Arabia.

Please read on:
[Gulf Business]
Saudi says $107bn received in corruption settlements

The assets were handed over in the form of real estate, commercial

entities, securities and cash
Robert Anderson
Tuesday 30 January 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s attorney general said on Tuesday the kingdom had

received settlements exceeding SAR400bn ($106.7bn) from detainees

following the winding down of the first phase of a corruption purge.

In comments carried by Saudi Press Agency, Sheikh Saud Al Mojeb said

the Supreme Committee for Combating Corruption subpoenaed 381 people

in total from the date of a royal order in early November, many of

whom were summoned to testify and provide evidence.

A review of all the cases relating to those accused of corruption is

now complete and negotiations with those willing to settle in exchange

for their freedom have concluded.
Cases were transferred to the Public Prosecution, which decided to

release those that had settled and admitted to wrongdoing or had

insufficient evidence supporting the allegations against them.

The prosecution decided to keep in custody 56 individuals the attorney

general had refused to settle with “due to other pending criminal

cases, in order to continue the investigations process, and in

accordance with the relevant laws and regulations”.

This was down from 95 last week.
Read: Saudi to recover more than $100bn in corruption settlements

Al Mojeb said that the estimated value of the settlements received so

far exceeded SAR400bn and they came in the form of real estate,

commercial entities, securities, cash and other assets.

He previously stated in November that at least $100bn of funds had

been misused through “systematic corruption and embezzlement over

several decades”.
Read: Saudi attorney general says $100bn misused through “systematic corruption”

Reuters reported on Tuesday that the kingdom had closed a detention

centre for those snared by the anti-graft drive at Riyadh’s opulent

Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
Read: Saudi closes hotel detention centre
This followed the release of a number of high profile businessmen over

the weekend including billionaire Prince Alwaleed and the founder of

Middle East broadcaster MBC, Waleed al-Ibrahim.
The exact settlements both men agreed to are unknown.

Read: Shares in Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding soar, but banks cautious

Read: MBC’s Ibrahim to keep control of broadcaster after detention

In an interview with Reuters at his suite in the Ritz-Carlton hours

before he was released on Saturday, Prince Alwaleed said he had been

well-treated in custody and described his detention case as a

misunderstanding.
Those that are still being detained face potential court cases in

Riyadh and Jeddah, with Saudi Gazette reporting special criminal

circuits of three judges each had been established at criminal courts

in both locations.
Read: Saudi courts prepare framework for corruption detainees

They are expected to face 14 charges ranging from bribery to forgery,

money laundering, power misuse, dissipating public funds and amassing

wealth at the expense of the government.
Finance minister Mohammed al-Jadaan said last week the settlements

would be used to fund $13.3bn of financial handouts to help citizens

cope with the rising cost of living.
Read: Saudi king orders new payments to offset rising living costs

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Copyright © 2018 by Gulf Business.
End of culled news story by Robert Anderson from the online version

of Gulf News.

Ghana is going to find it tough to find someone like this pretty queen

Author: Kofi Thompson
Stories: 174 Publication(s)
Column: KofiThompson
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