Saad Al-Jabri, a former top Saudi official currently in exile, and a group of men he led; while working at the Ministry of Interior wasted $11bn in government funds, according to a report by WSJ.
High-level counter-terrorism efforts
US intelligence agencies sources who spoke to WSJ said al-Jabri; currently in exile in Canada, ran a special interior ministry fund focused on high-level counter-terrorism efforts. The paper said he had misspent $11bn over 17 years to pay himself, his family, as well as acquaintances in bonuses.
“Mr. Jabri, a 61-year-old with a doctorate in computer science, was the effective No. 2 in the Interior Ministry, which Prince Mohammad bin Naif ran for years. Mr. Jabri ran a special ministry fund that mixed government spending on high-priority antiterrorism efforts with bonuses for Al-Jabri and others; according to documents reviewed by the Journal and interviews with Saudi officials and Mr. Jabri’s confidants,” WSJ report also read.
“In the 17 years he oversaw the fund, $19.7bn flowed through it. The government also claims $11bn spent improperly through overpayments on contracts; or diverted to destinations including overseas bank accounts controlled by Al-Jabri, his family and his associates,” the report said.
Documents seen by the WSJ and corroborated by corporate filings in Saudi Arabia showed that the funds originating from the special unit funneled through a company called Technology Control Co. which was funded by the ministry itself but also owned at times by Al-Jabri’s brother, his nephew and two close associates.
“Technology Control was transferred to the government. Saudi investigators discovered that the Interior Ministry paid the company more than $11,000 a piece for 2,000 secure landline and mobile phones that cost $500 to manufacture, according to the people familiar with the investigation. Discarding the equipment later because it didn’t work well,” the WSJ reported citing people familiar with the investigation from Saudi Arabia.