RIYADH: Several individuals have been arrested for their involvement in a scheme to illegally manipulate health status records for money, the Kingdom’s anti-corruption authority announced early on Friday.
The Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) said legal procedures are underway against those involved for the crimes of bribery, forgery and money laundering.
Saudi Arabia uses a nationwide Covid tracking system allowing health authorities to monitor the spread of the virus as well as the vaccine status of individuals.
Nazaha said both those changing vaccine statuses as well as those paying for the service were apprehended.
The twelve men named by Nazaha were Saudi nationals and Arab expatriates.
Two of the men worked for the Health Affairs department in the Eastern region and are accused of modifying health statuses.
Some of those accused advertized the scheme on social media to draw customers while others allowed their bank accounts to be used for payment transactions.
“Given that these actions and violations have a dreadful negative impact on the efforts made by the government in combating this pandemic, the Authority is firmly proceeding with applying what the law rules against the violators,” Nazaha said, vowing “to pursue anyone who exploits the public office to achieve personal gain.”
Saudi Arabia reported 1,534 new infections on Thursday as well as 13 more coronavirus-related deaths.
So far, the Kingdom has vaccinated 17,955,015 people, including 1,352,555 who are elderly.
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