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Judicial CP - August 2007

Corpun file 19514


Arab News, Jeddah/Riyadh/Dhahran, 13 August 2007

Jail, Lashes and Fine for Fraudster

JEDDAH, 13 August 2007 — A Jeddah court on Saturday sentenced a Saudi fraudster to 15 years in jail and 1,000 lashes and fined him SR1 million for cheating investors of SR1.2 billion.

Judge Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Shithri announced the verdict on Ahmad Sulaiman Al-Surairi, who has also been prevented from leaving the Kingdom. Al-Surairi will receive 50 lashes in 20 sessions, Al-Madinah newspaper reported yesterday.

The sentence was announced after a one-year delay. Al-Surairi was found guilty of swindling cash from investors for projects that did not exist. The court heard how Al-Surairi collected the cash over a two-year period and then disappeared in 2006.

He was later arrested in Dubai. The court also ordered Al-Surairi to return the money he has fraudulently obtained.

Al-Surairi had set up a highly organized network to embezzle money from prospective investors. He had selected 30 people, who he called heads, who would manage other investors numbering over 18,000.

Muhammad Al-Shamrani, one of the heads, said he invested 25 percent of his assets and now wants to retrieve everything.

"I have the right to ask for all my money and profit," he said, adding that Al-Surairi claimed he was investing the money in international stocks.

Another head, who did not want his name published, invested SR13 million. He expressed satisfaction at the ruling and said that people can still ask for the money they have lost.

"Al-Surairi deserves what he received because he has been given various opportunities to return the money but he hasn't availed of these chances," he said, adding that the decision reflects positively on similar cases.

Other investors said that although Al-Surairi will be punished, there is no guarantee in getting their money back.

Copyright: Arab News 2003 All rights reserved.

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