Asharq al-Awsat, Jeddah- Saudi security forces arrested a criminal gang who was running a large-scale counterfeit money operation in the Ghaleeel neighborhood in south Jeddah. The densely populate area is renowned for harboring criminals who seek refuge amongst its poor housing and squalor.
Asharq al Awsat has learnt that six men of African origin were arrested after police discovered their hideout. During interrogation, the men revealed the whereabouts of their accomplices, five men and three women, who were residing in the Qariyat neighborhood, another poor area of the city.
A special machine was used to produce counterfeit US dollars which were then spent in Jeddah, according to the preliminary findings of the investigation. The authorities are continuing their search to discover the stores where the money was used in hope of identifying other criminals.
Lieutenant Gen. Misfr al Zhami, Jeddah police commander was overseeing the investigation in association with Lieutenant Mohammad Nahar and Lieutenant Hassan al Nafei from the criminal investigation unit as well as Captain Hashem al Sheikhi.
In a related development, the police resumed their crackdown across several poor neighborhoods in Jeddah after previous raids proved effective in catching several fugitives from justice and criminals.
As a result, crime figures had decreased in the city, a security source said, with over 30 thousand offenders deported.
On Thursday, police in Riyadh arrested a group of Yemenis engaged in money counterfeit operations and found $50,000 in forged currency.