Riyadh fire incidents: Crown Prince orders penal action against corrupt officials

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, has ordered referring files against those; who are involved in corruption in connection; with the recurrent rising incidents of fire in the Riyadh region, to the judiciary.

Deputy Emir of Riyadh region Prince Muhammad Bin Abdul Rahman made this announcement.

“Based on the directive of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman with regard to the increasing number of fire incidents in the Riyadh region; their causes, and ways to contain them, the Riyadh region emirate; in cooperation with the Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority, has begun to examine and investigate the file.

“The investigation pointed to suspicion about financial and administrative corruption and that the owners of commercial establishments did not comply with the requirements necessary; to practice commercial activities issued by the relevant authorities,” the deputy emir said.

Prince Muhammad said that the results of the examination and investigation and recommendations carried out.

Accordingly he issued the directive to refer those; who were proven to be involved in this to the judiciary.

The Crown Prince also directed the formation of a committee; comprising representatives of the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing and the Civil Defense; to define the inspection tasks assigned to each agency and to submit its report within five days.

The deputy emir said that the directives of the Crown Prince also included entrusting the Ministry of Interior; represented by the Civil Defense and the Supreme Authority for Industrial Security; and the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing to re-study the safety requirements and activities that are permitted; to be practiced in inhabited areas.

It has also been directed in order to criminalize violators of the regulations of the regulatory authorities; and make mandatory insurance for commercial activities against accidents.

The Crown Prince also ordered directing the relevant authorities to re-examine the requirements for practicing commercial activities and hold accountable the negligent officials; as well as owners of commercial activities who commit violations, and take the necessary penal actions against them in accordance with the provisions of the regulations and instructions issued by the Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority.

Meanwhile, Prince Muhammad received Mazen Al-Kahmous, head of the Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority, at his office in Riyadh on Wednesday.

During the meeting, Prince Muhammad thanked and appreciated Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and the Crown Prince for their generous support and guidance to fight corruption at all levels.