Nazaha uncovers attempt to exploit funds Earmarked to Fight Coronavirus

Nazaha, Saudi Arabia’s National Control and Anti-Corruption Authority, announced on Sunday opening a financial and administrative corruption case. This is in connection with funds allocated to counter the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), in which government officials were involved.

In a statement published by SPA; Nazaha said that the corruption case involved two health affairs officials in the Riyadh region. This was with the participation of six other people, including a hotel owner.

According to the statement; those tried to exploit the country’s generous spending to contain the virus outbreak. Besides, provide adequate housing for citizens returning from abroad to spend the quarantine period.

They asked hotels for commissions against the priority to sign a contract with the Ministry of Health, which resulted in exaggerated prices for the services requested.

The Saudi Ministry of Tourism announced earlier this month the allocation of 33 facilities; including 6,568 rooms to accommodate citizens returning from abroad.

A senior official at the Ministry of Tourism attempted to give overstated prices to the Ministry of Health for the purpose of providing housing for repatriated citizens. Following investigations, the official admitted violating his duties and squandering public funds.

Nazaha, in coordination with the Riyadh police, also began an investigation into another case, which saw one repatriated person counterfeiting 31 movement permits and selling them for a total value of SAR93,000.