Rise In Crime, Corruption Raises Concern

RIYADH, 28 October 2003 — A total of 364 cases of bribery involving some 747 persons including 486 Saudi nationals were reported in Saudi Arabia last year.

This information was made public at a conference on combating corruption, which was organized by the Riyadh-based Naif Arab Academy for Security Sciences (NAASS) in cooperation with the United Nations.

The conference urged Arab countries and the Gulf states to check crime and corruption cases, particularly involving individuals and government agencies. Crime and corruption cases, which are comparatively lower in the Kingdom and the Gulf than in other countries have, however, raised concern among the public.

A report obtained by Arab News said, “Riyadh reported the highest number of bribery cases followed by the Makkah region. The lowest number of bribery cases was reported in Qasim region.”

Cases of commercial fraud involving Saudis and expatriates have increased with one or two cases reported every week in the local media. The report said that Saudi Arabia had already stepped up efforts to check corruption and drug-trafficking. The Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CSCCI) has directed all chambers across the country to combat money laundering and commercial fraud.

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