Friday, March 3, 2017

SR 1,200 million transferred to a Saudi Resident account, what happened after that?

A daily newspaper in the Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia reported that the account of an employee who is working in public sector has been frozen by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA). The account holder is just a public-sector employee who in his 30's. He got shocked after receiving a text message that his account has been sealed. The reason of freezing account was that his account received transaction of amount SR 1.2 billion which also surprised him. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) plays a central bank role in the Kingdom. This is the main and central bank of Saudi-Arabia who issues national currency; do monitoring of commercial banks, handle foreign exchange reserves of the Kingdom and issues the monetary policy.

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency froze his account instantly on the suspect of money laundering. The concerned account holder went to the bank to investigate and receive details from the bank.  The bank informed the account holder that the reason of freezing his account is possibly doubts of money laundering case. The bank also informed him that he should contact the Ministry of Interior Monetary Investigation Department. From Investigation Department, he can possibly get more information about the frozen account. The department replied to the employee that his account will remain frozen until the Investigation Department tracks the main source of the transaction. Asim Al-Mullah who is by profession Lawyer and works as a legal consultant, states that deposit or transferring money from outside of the Kingdom and without highlighting the source of the money transaction is considered as money laundering.

Five percent of the bank accounts can receive monetary transactions from outside of the Kingdom with unidentified sources. These kinds of monetary transactions usually hold a large amount of money. This kind of monetary transactions received by the bank is usually a part of any illegal source of business such as trading of weapons or drug smuggling. As this is an organized group of gangs who is working systematically, which transfers illegal money logically and then operates account of the concerned client where they transferred.

The gang makes sure that the concerned clients must be able to withdraw the transferred money without any inquiry by the authority.   As soon as the gang confirms that the clients are not getting any consideration by the authorities, they contact the respective account holder and negotiate for their money.

Although, the Kingdom holds an international agreement which permits to deal with drug smuggling cases but they do not have any customized procedure by which they can deal cases of money laundering which is outside the borders of the Kingdom.  It is a big challenge for the Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia to tackle ordeal such international money laundering cases.  

Source: Saudi Gazette

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