Arab News, Sunday, Jan 23, 2022 | Jamada Al-Aakhirah 20, 1443
Experts praise new Saudi specialist anti-fraud units
Legal and financial experts have supported the
decision of the Saudi Attorney General Saud Al-Mojeb to create new specialized
units for investigating financial fraud.
Zahra Al-Nasser, an assistant professor in the department of finance and banking
at Dar Al-Uloom University, told Arab News that the move to form new specialized
units to investigate financial fraud will significantly enhance business sector
governance and protect against the degradation of the pillars of economic
“The best example is
the collapse of the Saudi financial market in 2006. The market lost more than
SR1 trillion ($266 billion), which is still fresh in the minds of investors,
affected investor confidence, and resulted in the loss of much of their wealth
and savings. One of the reasons was the Saudi market’s weak legislation,”
Thamer Al-Enezi, a
legal adviser, told Arab News that financial fraud has become an international
issue, deceiving some highly educated workers due to its professionalism.
Al-Enezi said it was
necessary to have highly efficient specialists to deal with fraud.
Prosecution stressed the importance of addressing all cases of financial fraud,
particularly those that involve cross-border networks.
The new legislation defines all aspects of financial crimes in detail and sets
out the maximum penalties while taking into account the rapid pace of
The Public Prosecution added that the new units have specialists in financial
fraud crimes who are members of the Public Prosecution Office and have received
investigation training courses.
The courses include criminal patterns and methods, tracking perpetrators, and
Al-Enezi, who owns a
law firm, added that some financial frauds use the corporate entity as a cover,
affecting the corporate sector’s reliability.
Therefore, a package of preventive measures was taken by government agencies
such as the Saudi Central Bank and other authorities such as the Public
Prosecution to protect society from money fraud. These measures help adhere to
high governance standards and maintain formidable cybersecurity levels.
Al-Enezi pointed out that some of these crimes have technical flaws that
facilitate financial fraud detection.
The law for combating financial fraud stipulates that guilty parties will be
imprisoned “for no more than seven years and fined no more than SR5 million.”
Al-Nasser said that companies are now expected to take bolder steps to fight
fraud, such as updating frameworks and approaches, increasing commitment and
compliance, enhancing precautions and using deeper audits.
She said that companies may incur additional costs as they update procedures
because many of them fall into financial fraud due to “weak internal governance
professor praised the new units and focus on financial fraud, which she said
would improve investor confidence and contribute to “the Kingdom’s Vision 2030
goals through the Financial Sector Development Program, which aims to deepen the
financial market, increase liquidity levels and improve transparency.”