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Five Saudi Arabia Officials Handed Prison Terms For Corruption, Bribery

Five Saudi officials have been sentenced to jail after they were convicted of bribery, wasting public funds, misusing power and acquiring illicit wealth, a statement said on Friday.

The five received sentences adding up to a total of up to 32 years.

The public prosecutors had gathered more than 300 pieces of evidence against the defendants and presented them to the court, the statement, published by the Saudi Press Agency, said.

They were also ordered to pay fines of more than nine million riyals (around 2.4 million dollars). The court also ordered the confiscation of funds in their personal bank accounts.

Among those convicted is an official who was arrested while taking a bribe to approve some irregular measures, besides participating in the falsification of documents.

He was sentenced to 12 years in jail and ordered to pay a fine of one million Royal.

Some commercial entities were also fined and banned from making deals with any public body for a certain period, the statement said.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has vowed to crackdown on corruption, as the kingdom’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman seeks to diversify the country’s economy and make it less dependant on oil.

Mohammed was seen as spearheading what Riyadh described as an anti-corruption drive in 2017 to 2018 when dozens of high-profile royals and former state officials were detained for three months.

Many reached financial settlements with the authorities, which the kingdom said were worth more than 100 billion dollars.

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