Saudi land grabbers attack officials in plot bust

Greedy thieves pelt officials with rocks in fight over Makkah land

Land thieves pelted Saudi officials with rocks during a standoff in Makkah last week. Photo for illustration only.
Land thieves pelted Saudi officials with rocks during a standoff in Makkah last week. Photo for illustration only.

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Saudi officials were chased by angry land grabbers who objected to having officials claim back plots of land stolen from the government.

The incident happened in Makkah’s Al-Shumaisi area last Wednesday when government officials turned up to take back 50 plots of land which had been claimed by land grabbers. The thieves turned on government officials, throwing rocks at tem, and attempting to chase off officials by driving at them in their cars.

Hassan Khankar, head of Al-Omrah municipality, said the plots had large courtyards in which electricity meters were installed to deceive municipal staff into thinking that they legally belonged to the encroachers.

He said the municipality would deploy more staff to work during the Eid holidays to put an end to encroachments on government land.

Theives remain on site, and the government intends removing them from the land, which lies between the Haramain Expressway and old Jeddah-Makkah Road.

In March this year, Saudi authorities were alerted over claims made against businesses in Yanbu that fake deeds were used to acquire large tracts of land in the area worth around $40m, with some land grants made to children no older than 10.

Sources close to Arab News told the paper that an investigation in to the claims was launched immediately by Madinah Gov. Prince Abdul Aziz bin Majed who had ordered similar probes in to claims of administrative corruption in Jeddah following the floods in late 2009 and also in the region of Badr recently.

The prince was particularly surprised by claims that land grants were given to children.

“This is totally unacceptable, especially as some eligible citizens have been on the waiting list to receive land grants for more than 24 years.”


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