Saudi officials sacked over 'violations' in Red Sea project

Saudi King sacks officials over corruption, 'violations' in Red Sea project
2 min read
Senior officials at tourism developments were dismissed on suspicion of corruption.
Saudi Arabia's ambitious march to modernity has been marred by controversy [Getty]

Saudi ruler King Salman bin Abdulaziz has issued a royal decree sacking a number of officials over "legal violations" in the kingdom's Red Sea project, according to state media reports on Friday.

Senior officials at tourism developments, including the northwestern Al Ula historial site and the Red Sea mega-projects, were dismissed on suspicion of corruption, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Authorities had investigated whether the officials facilitated the encroachment of lands belonging to these projects.

The Red Sea Company and the Souda Development Company reported over 5,000 violations which could cause environmental damage and hinder their respective projects, according to the Royal Commission for Al-Ula Province.

Among those sacked were the governors of the northern coastal cities of Amlaj and Al Wajh, the head of border security and interior ministry officials.

Saudi Arabia's ambitious march to modernisation has been accompanied by a wide-ranging anti-corruption drive that has netted a wide-range of influential figures, including businessmen, public figures, clerics and royal princes. Some of those released after arrest reportedly agreed to hefty financial settlements.

The crown jewel of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's mega-projects - the NEOM mega city - has also been marred by the killing of a Saudi tribal activist Abdul-Rahman al-Howeiti in April this year.

Read more:  Family of slain Saudi activist speaks out against Saudi Arabia's NEOM 'compensation plan'

NEOM city, a $500 billion enterprise by Saudi Arabia, is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plans to wean the kingdom away from its reliance on oil revenues.

Al Howeiti had refused to leave his home to make way for the city’s construction.

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