Saudi tourism officials sacked over corruption allegations

Officials include governors of Red Sea cities Umluj and Al-Wajh and members of the Interior

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s war against corruption has begun a new chapter as a string of Saudi officials have been sacked over graft allegations at tourism projects. Revealed by state media and carried by AFP, the officials are currently under investigation.

Those sacked include the governors of the Red Sea coastal cities of Umluj and Al-Wajh, the head of border security and other local commanders as well as officials from the interior ministry, the Saudi Press Agency said.

The officials are under investigation for allegedly facilitating encroachment of government lands intended for the Kingdom’s new leisure tourism projects along the Red Sea coast.

The violations had a "great impact on the completion of the projects" and caused "environmental damage", SPA added.

The Arab nation has been scrambling to complete multi-billion dollar projects in line with the Saudi Vision 2030. Giga-projects across AlUla, Red Sea and other picturesque regions are hoped to wean the country off its oil dependency.

SPA did not say exactly how many officials were fired, and it identified only a few of them.

It marks the latest government crackdown on what officials describe as endemic corruption in the kingdom.

A campaign against graft launched in 2017 saw hundreds of princes, ministers and businessmen detained at the five-star Ritz-Carlton hotel in the capital Riyadh.

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