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Saudi crackdown on 500 parks' illegal 'occupation'

Some businessmen and realtors in the kingdom are to be prosecuted for their plans to "annex public lands", local media reported

NEWS, Business, Lawyers, Parks, Saudi, Theft

A number of businessmen and realtors who had scammed the government of 500 parks are being prosecuted for their plans to annex public lands and claim them as private property. 

Around 111 of these public parks have already been retrieved west of Jeddah and plans to build palaces and villas on them were terminated.

The Court of Grievances in Jeddah has assigned the Court of Grievances in Riyadh to look into the case involving the “occupation” of the plots of 500 public parks, Saudi Gazette reported.

Arabic daily Al Watan had reported that citizens had filed as many as 33 cases against occupiers through 30 lawyers some seven months ago upon leading to the court’s recent issuing of its verdict to vacate 111 plots.

“Some individuals had colluded with businessmen to register the land of these public parks as part of palaces and villas,” a source told Al Watan.

Businessmen and realtors added those plots to their property and sold them to individuals.

A similar land grab case has surfaced in a district north of Jeddah, Al Watan said.

“That land grab occurred with the support of some department employees who helped them to prepare the field sketch,” the source said.

Land thefts are believed to have occurred due to the absence of stringent monitoring by relevant authorities.

Charges such as corruption, bribery, misuse of power and forgery face people involved in land thefts, the daily reported one lawyer as saying.

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