Saudi public prosecution confiscates 4 billion riyals from money laundering gang – Arab News

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RIYADH: The Saudi Public Prosecution said Monday that it confiscated four billion Saudi riyals from a money laundering gang and that it would sentence those accused to 25 years in prison, Al-Ekhbariya state television reported. 
The gang organization conducted huge financial operations and transferred them outside the kingdom, it added.
The gang consists of a Saudi citizen and five Arab expats.
 
MADINAH: The Royal Commission for AlUla has signed an agreement for Serco Group, a British company that primarily operates as a contractor for the provision of government services in various countries, to provide consulting services for the management of infrastructure services in AlUla.

Moataz Kurdi, the head of the commission’s operations sector, said the deal includes consultations on the design and implementation of an infrastructure-services strategy, along with support for implementing its master plan. Serco will also deliver a facility-management plan that forms the basis of operations in AlUla governorate.

The agreement will help to improve the quality of operations and facilities in a way that is compatible with the natural environment of AlUla and its historical sites, Kurdi added, as well as the commission’s objective of achieving comprehensive sustainable development in line with the aims of Vision 2030.

Serco Middle East CEO Phil Malem said he is looking forward to helping the commission achieve its objectives by providing strategic and operational services that will contribute to the vision for AlUla.

The commission has adopted a sustainable approach to its work through the implementation of a number of programs and initiatives. They include A Journey Through Time, a scheme launched in April 2021 that aims to promote AlUla as a global destination for culture, natural heritage and ecotourism, and as a desirable place to live and work.
RIYADH: The Saudi government has enjoyed great success its efforts to promote and protect human rights and noble values based on the principle of “the human being first” but the work continues, the UN heard on Tuesday.
Speaking on the second day of the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Abdul Aziz Al-Khayyal, vice president of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, said the work his country is doing in this field reflect the directives of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The Kingdom has made great strides in the development of human rights over the past few years, with achievements in a number of areas, most notably women’s rights, education, health and climate change, which are reflected in recent international human rights indicators and reports.
He also stressed the Kingdom’s firm stance on support for the people of Yemen and the nation’s internationally-recognized government, and its desire to support the UN-brokered truce in the country. He reiterated Saudi Arabia’s complete rejection of Houthi attempts to exploit the international community, and the desire of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen for peace despite the Iran-backed militia’s refusal to meet its obligations under the truce, and its ongoing detention of UN staff.

Under #Vision2030, the Kingdom strives to ensure a quality of life based on high levels of education and a healthy population with access to the best medical care. According to the @UNDP‘s #HumanDevelopmentIndex #KSA continues to show unprecedented growth, climbing 5 positions! pic.twitter.com/eMzzMYdDYD
He added that the Houthis continue to prevent oil shipments from entering the port at Hodeidah under UN supervision, in contravention of the truce, and have closed border crossings in Taiz which is affecting humanitarian aid efforts.
Al-Khayyal called on civil society to put pressure on the Houthis to adhere to the terms of the truce and engage in efforts to reach a comprehensive resolution to the conflict that achieves security and stability in Yemen.
He also congratulated Volker Turk, the UN’s under-secretary-general for policy, on his recent appointment as UN high commissioner for human rights and wished him success in the role.
Al-Khayyal heads a delegation from the Saudi Human Rights Commission that is taking part in the 51st session of the Human Rights Council, which began on Sept. 12 and continues until Oct. 7.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia supports plans for integration of culture as part of the global efforts to promote sustainability and development, the G20 heard on Tuesday.
The comments came from Saudi Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan during day three of a four-day meeting of G20 culture ministers in Borobudur, Indonesia.
Indonesia holds the presidency of the G20 this year. Prince Badr expressed his thanks and appreciation to his Indonesian counterpart, Nadiem Makarim, for the work the country has done in the G20’s cultural track, and to all the participants in the meeting. He encouraged them to continue discussing cultural matters in the context of development within the framework of the G20.
 
At the third #G20Indonesia Cultural Ministerial Meeting, HH @BadrFAlSaud emphasised the Kingdom’s support of plans to integrate culture in policies to achieve sustainable development goals as part of our belief in culture as a global public good.#SaudiMinistryOfCulture pic.twitter.com/gv772F6Lh7
 
He said that the Kingdom is proud to have organized the first meeting of G20 culture ministers during the Saudi presidency of the group in 2020, and thanked Indonesia for maintaining the momentum, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
“Based on our belief that culture is a global public good, the Kingdom supports plans to integrate culture in promoting sustainability and development,” the prince said. “It also supports all efforts to ensure the integration of culture with public policies to achieve sustainable development goals.
“The Kingdom affirms its commitment to enhancing the role of culture as an enabler, calls for a broader exploration of the benefits of the creative economy, and supports the mobilization of international resources to mainstream sustainable recovery.”
He added that the commitment of all G20 members to cooperation in the cultural sector will contribute to the achievement of their common goals.
ALKHOBAR: Blal Antika overcame his big fear of dogs when he began working at the Kingdom’s first cafe dedicated to canines, the Barking Lot, eight months ago.
Today, Antika is like a protective big cousin, standing stoically at the entrance of the building with its clear glass exterior, mindfully scanning the area, while energetically high-fiving people he recognizes.
He is the first friendly but firm face that greets you and the last one you see before leaving.
A jack of all trades, he does a little bit of everything. While sipping on his favorite iced white mocha from the cafe, he lifts the gate to let people and their best friends in and out.
He is now part of the whole Barking Lot visitor experience, but even he was surprised to be in this position.
• The unique cafe has 14 in- house dogs while others visit regularly.
• The cafe also has a grooming station where dogs can get their nails clipped and showered.
• In Saudi Arabia, dogs have traditionally been excluded from living in homes. They were kept on farms or used for security purposes. But over the last decade, there has been a shift in the culture.
“Growing up in Jeddah, I never thought I’d be surrounded by dogs. I’ve always had a sense of adventure so when I got an offer to work at the dog cafe in Alkhobar, I was curious. Even though I always had a fear of dogs, I thought to try it anyway. Now, I miss them whenever I am not around them,” Antika told Arab News.
The unique cafe has 14 in-house dogs while others visit regularly.
The Alkhobar branch has been in operation for over two years. With plenty of snacks for both humans and dogs, the cafe caters to those who want their animals to play in a safe and controlled environment or chat with other people, to exchange tips and show off their furry friends’ new tricks.
Humans can sit in chairs in the back, placed along the clear glass walls overlooking the city, where passersby occasionally peer in curiously.
Occasionally, some dogs will urinate from excitement but a staff member quickly comes to mop and sanitize the spot. You can hear bursts of barking, as dogs enter and exit, but this doesn’t last long.
The cafe also has a grooming station where they can get their nails clipped and showered.
Ameerah, who was raised in Dhahran, returned last year after living in Canada, armed with a degree and her first dog, Lilly.
The 20-kilogram highly energetic combination golden retriever and poodle is a golden doodle.
“When I first got Lilly, she was only seven weeks. I was very excited because this is the first time I got a pet, and that was a dream of mine from childhood. When I first got her, it was abroad so everything was open. You know, people there understand what it means to own a pet and raise it. It’s like their child in the house but here it’s different,” she told Arab News.
In Saudi Arabia, dogs have traditionally been excluded from living in homes. They were kept on farms or used for security purposes. But over the last decade, there has been a shift in the culture.
On the night of our visit, you could hear giddy children calling out to Lilly. One young girl asked if she could feed Lilly a treat but Ameerah gently declined and explained that this would give the canine indigestion. The little girl happily petted Lilly instead. It’s not hard to see why Lilly is a local favorite.
Lilly sweetly interacts with other larger dogs and socializes in the controlled environment. Her mother enjoys these visits and appreciates how the Barking Lot cafe is helping to broaden the understanding of what it means to include a woman’s best friend to the cultural mix.
Lilly helped Ameerah cope with being away from home during the pandemic and is now helping her hometown accept dogs as legitimate members of the family.
The cafe also helps both of them beat the sweltering Saudi heat.
“The weather, of course, is a shock for me and her and when I came to the cafe, you know, everything is enclosed. It has AC so I’d rather bring her here than taking her to play in the park. We’re either at home or at the cafe,” she said.
The Barking Lot was launched in Kuwait by Dalal Al-Sharhan with the Alkhobar branch opening in 2020 as the first canine-friendly cafe in the Kingdom followed by its second branch in 2021 in Riyadh.
For their hours and menu items, including grooming for the pets and coffee for their humans, visit @TheBarkingLot.sa
MAKKAH: A Saudi swimming instructor and lifeguard has taken the plunge with a personal mission to help cut the number of drowning incidents in the Kingdom.
Nawal Al-Atwi not only aims to raise awareness about water safety but also wants to encourage more women in the country to become qualified rescuers.
With the backing of the Saudi Life Saving Federation, she assists in preparing women for life-saving courses being conducted throughout the Kingdom including in Riyadh, Dammam, and Tabuk.
On successful completion of the course, participants become certified lifeguards for two years after which time they must undertake a fitness test.
Al-Atwi, who lives and works in Tabuk, has made it her mission to educate people about potential water dangers and the importance of learning water rescue skills.
With the backing of the Saudi Life Saving Federation, she assists in preparing women for life-saving courses being conducted throughout the Kingdom including in Riyadh, Dammam, and Tabuk.
She said: “I had heard tragic stories of men, women, and children in my area dying in drowning incidents, and it saddened me a lot. Learning water rescue is very important, and I want to teach as many people as possible.
“We seek to advocate and educate to decrease the number of drownings.”
The federation is now running specialized courses and technical training in water rescue for Saudi women.
“These courses, given to qualified Saudi girls, are the beginning of organizing specialized technical courses in various regions of the Kingdom.
“I learned to swim as a child in the sea. The Red Sea was a great school — it has shaped my identity in the field of swimming and rescue,” she added.
Al-Atwi was around 10 years old when she rescued a man from drowning. “The incident marked me and helped me not to fear water, no matter how deep it was.”
She was a volunteer lifeguard for three years before becoming a certified lifeguard with the federation in the Tabuk region.
She said: “I aim to put all my efforts into reducing incidents of drowning, while educating people about potential water dangers.
“I am now a lifeguard. It is not as easy as many people think. Water rescue can be a very dangerous operation that requires tremendous skills.
“Rescuing is about learning how to assess the severity of a situation, how to handle people who are irritated, quiet, or have fractures. It is also a religious duty, as stipulated in the Qur’anic verse, ‘saving one life is saving humanity.’”
Lifeguards learn how to rescue people from not only swimming pools and the sea, but rivers, flood areas, and other water environments too, and also receive training in emergency first aid.
Al-Atwi said there was a high demand for water rescue training throughout Saudi Arabia and that the country’s civil defense and other organizations constantly pushed the safety message.
The meteorology and environmental protection authorities also issued rain and flood alerts. “But many people, unfortunately, still risk going to places where it may not be safe to be,” she added.
 
 

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