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Saudi officials unearth huge land scam.

Saudi authorities have unearthed a major land scam involving municipality officials in Madinah province and their relatives, said a report.

An investigation committee, set up by the provincial governorate of Madinah, found gross corruption in the granting of land meant for the poor in the governorate of Badr, the Arab News reported.

The committee found that a number of plots earmarked for the government's land grant program had gone to municipal officials and their relatives.

The investigators also discovered an eight-year-old list of eligible candidates for land which contained 1,767 names and had been prepared in 2003, the report said.

There was also another list of 800 other people who were selected for land grants in previous years. All of these people had applied for government lands between 1997 and 2002, said the new report citing investigators.

According to the panel, Badr municipality officials deprived applicants of land and failed to hold proper draws.

The investigators also found that plots in some prime locations had been granted to the wife of chairman of the land grant committee and his nephew.

Many of the poor residents who had won draws for land were forced by the officials to sell off their lands for SR25,000. It was also found that 16 plots of land were given to officials and their relatives in the Badr municipality, the report added.

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Publication:TradeArabia (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Mar 6, 2011
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