Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

No “large scale” money laundering in Saudi – official | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat – Saudi Interior Ministry, Prince Ahmed Bin Abdulaziz, affirmed that no “large scale” money laundering is taking place within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He denied claims that money laundering towards financing terrorism is taking place within the country, saying “we hope that this is not true.” He stressed that great efforts have been exerted towards combatting this issue and that, God willing, the Saudi Interior Ministry will achieve its objectives in this regard.

Prince Ahmed Bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Interior Minister and Supervisor of the Commission of Investigation and Public Prosecution, was speaking at the opening ceremony of a symposium entitled “The role and responsibility of public prosecution and judicial bodies in combatting money laundering terror financing” yesterday. The symposium was organized by the Commission of Investigation and Public Prosecution in collaboration with the Financial Action Group for the Middle East and North Africa region and was attended by representatives of Arab and foreign countries.

Prince Ahmed asserted that the Interior Ministry is proceeding according to the state system and constitution, which is based on the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him. He stressed that the Interior Ministry is following this approach and will not abandon its duty. He also declared that the Commission of Investigation and Public Prosecution is an independent body that investigates cases and transfers cases to the judiciary, whose rulings are based on Islamic Sharia law.

Commenting on the events in Qatif province, the Interior Minister said “when flags other than the flag of the Kingdom are raised, it means that the demonstrations are from abroad. It has not been proved conclusively that they are instigated by certain countries. What is taking place in a part of Qatif is gatherings by limited people. It is apparent from some of the banners they raise that they are from foreign parties.”

Prince Ahmed asserted that Saudi national unity is strong and solid, adding that the dialogue between Islamic sects called for by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz at the Mecca summit is for the Islamic world, affirming that such dialogue is encouraged by the Holy Quran.

As for preparations for the forthcoming Hajj season, Prince Ahmed said “we hope that those who come for Hajj seek what is good during their visits to the holy sites and we have no concern over them.”

Commenting on the security events that have been experienced by some Arab states and Saudi precautions towards this, the Interior Minister said that “we trust that all citizens are keen on their security. This is a factor that will contribute to maintaining security. We do not expect trespasses from abroad. Maintaining security and the border is everyone’s responsibility.”

This ceremony was attended by a number of important local, regional and international figures, including Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Al-Sheikh, acting Governor of Riyadh region, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Mohammed and Commission of Investigation and Public Prosecution Chairman Sheikh Mohammed Bin Fahd Al Abdullah, along with his deputies and aides.

For his part, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Fahd Al Abdullah stressed that combatting money laundering and terrorism funding has received considerable attention from the international community, particularly as these two crimes have a devastating effect of society. He stressed that this effect is not just limited to individuals, but also jeopardizes entire states and societies.

He confirmed that Saudi Arabia is doing everything in its power to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, and has initiated a number of procedures and measures in this regard.