Saudi Arabia’s Nahaza, or the Oversight and Corruption Authority, has recently detained 207 individuals who were involved in forgery, office and power abuses, and bribery.
The arrest happened on Monday and included several government employees from various government institutions, including the ministries on Interior, Health, Education, Justice, and Defense. These were among the other ministries that were also monitored by the same commission for allegations of graft and corruption practices.
A statement released by the Nahaza included 461 individuals who were also currently investigated on accusations of administrative and criminal offenses. On Monday, these investigations were accompanied by the said arrest, and legal proceedings are underway as preparation for the detainees’ referral to court.
The Human Rights Watch also expressed concerns over the said arrest movement by the Nahaza. They have called on authorities to release the evidentiary and legal bases on the detention of the arrested individuals.
They have also reminded the Saudi government to uphold the detainees’ right to due process during the ongoing trials and investigations. The recent arrest did not release the names of the detainees and the reason for their detention other than their alleged involvement in corrupt practices in the Saudi government.
The said organization has also conducted inquiries on the mass arrest and non-release of the list of detainees, but the Saudi government stands firm on the movement and the non-disclosure of the details of the mass arrest on corruption concerns.
However, the said movement was also lauded by Saudi nationals, knowing that there is a rampant activity of misuse of public funds and corruption that’s going on within the nation’s governing bodies.
Despite the strong resistance by human rights activists, the Nahaza continues to embattle themselves on corruption practices that have slowed the nation’s progress in the past decades.
In addition, despite the ongoing pandemic and lockdowns, the Crown prince and the Nahaza continued their operations in arresting and prosecuting individuals involved in corruption practices.
The said targeted individuals also cover Saudi’s princes and royal family members, public figures, and business individuals who symbolized the elite structure that has long encircled the Al Saud royal family and their extensive networks of patronages.
Last year, two high-ranking officials were added to the anti-corruption target and were removed from their post, pending trial and prosecution. The said mass arrest on corruption allegations has started during the succession of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in 2017.
His Royal Highness has directed anti-corruption arrests in mass numbers, which began at the later part of the same year where over 300 individuals were arrested at Riyadh’s luxurious Ritz-Carlton hotel.
The probe had also reclaimed over US$100 billion and also highlighted the arrest of 56 members of Saudi’s royal family. With that said, more arrests were made in the past two years than before HRH Mohammad acceded to the Crown Prince throne in 2017.
The said anti-corruption movement gave the people of Saudi Arabia, as well as their neighboring countries on the possibility of eradicating corruption in government and businesses in their respective communities.