It’s no surprise that bribery—bakshish—is the grease that eases all sorts of transactions in the Middle East. It’s a paltry substitute for wasta, but it works. But it also corrupts society and, depending on the issue, can be a major danger to citizens across the country. While it may be a time-honored tradition, times have changed and the cost to society now outweighs the benefits it provides to the few.
Arab News reports that government officials are facing a major bribery scandal in the city of Taif, with at least 24 municipal employees being charged with being on the take. The problem is so big that there is a need to assign additional judges to hear the cases.
TAIF: An administrative court in Jeddah has assigned more judges to look into a graft case involving 24 Taif municipal employees and two others. The reason cited was the large number of individuals involved in the case, which is called the largest bribery case being heard by a Saudi court.
One of the suspects, a municipality employee, has reportedly confessed to taking SR180,000 in bribes for issuing a license to a building that had not fulfilled the stipulated conditions.