MENA (Middle East & North Africa) - Written by Barry & Richard on Monday, June 13, 2011 23:55 - 2 Comments
MENA hots up – Saudi Arabia in anti-corruption drive: Arrests
Intelligence Online and UPI report the Saudi crackdown is targeted on the defense and interior ministries. It is reported that at least a dozen civil servants have been detained, including a senior official at the Interior Ministry.
In view of the interaction these ministries have with western companies it is possible that some may themselves become embroiled in the crackdown.
The anti-corruption drive comes at the same time that former regimes ousted in the Arab spring are being tried for corruption. The former president of Egypt Mubarak and his sons are standing trial in August (a number of former officials have already been convicted) and Ben Ali former president of Tunisia to be tried in absentia next week.
Ben Ali reportedly fled to Saudi Arabia in January. Interim Tunisian Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi said Saudi Arabia had declined to respond to requests to extradite Ben Ali.
At the same time the UK SFO is reported to be investigating allegations made in employment tribunal proceedings of bribery in Saudi Arabia by a subsidiary of EADS, GPT. The allegations are made by Ian Foxley a former British Army officer who worked for GPT Special Project Management Limited, which it is reported is owned by Paradigm Services Limited – in turn owned by EADS.
The FT reported that Mr Foxley claims to have been concerned about gifts given to officials including expensive cars and jewelery with cash transfers made to intermediaries. EADS is reported to be investigating the claims.