Experts praise Saudi’s new anti-fraud units

Zahra Al-Nasser, assistant professor in the department of finance and banking at Dar Al-Uloom University, told Arab News that the decision to form new specialized units to investigate financial fraud will significantly improve governance in the sector. businesses and will protect against the degradation of the pillars of economic prosperity.

“The best example is the collapse of the Saudi financial market in 2006. The market lost over 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 weakness of Saudi market legislation,” Al-Nasser said.

Thamer Al-Enezi, a legal adviser, told Arab News that financial fraud has become an international problem, cheating some highly skilled workers because of his professionalism.

Al-Enezi said it was necessary to have highly effective specialists to deal with fraud.

The prosecution has stressed the importance of dealing with all cases of financial fraud, especially those involving cross-border networks.

The new legislation defines in detail all aspects of financial crimes and sets maximum penalties while taking into account the rapid pace of technological advancement.

The prosecution added that the new units have financial fraud crime specialists who are members of the prosecution service and have received investigative training courses.

Courses include criminal schemes and methods, perpetrator tracking, and stolen funds.

Al-Enezi, who owns a law firm, added that some financial frauds use the company as a cover, affecting the reliability of the corporate sector.

Therefore, a set of preventive measures have been taken by government agencies such as the Central Bank of Saudi Arabia and other authorities such as the Public Prosecution Service to protect the company from financial fraud. These measures make it possible to meet high governance standards and maintain formidable levels of cybersecurity.

Al-Enezi pointed out that some of these crimes have technical flaws that make it easier to detect financial fraud.

The law on combating financial fraud stipulates that the culprits will be imprisoned “for a maximum term of seven years and a maximum fine of SR 5 million”.

Al-Nasser said companies should now take bolder steps to fight fraud, such as updating frameworks and approaches, increasing engagement and compliance, strengthening precautions and the use of more in-depth audits.

She said companies could incur additional costs when updating procedures as many fall into financial fraud due to “weak internal governance mechanisms”.

The assistant professor praised the new units and the focus on financial fraud, which she said would improve investor confidence and contribute to the Kingdom’s “Vision 2030 goals through the development program of the financial sector, which aims to deepen the financial market, increase liquidity levels and improve transparency. .”

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