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Ravenous land sharks plague Saudi

Ravenous land sharks plague Saudi

Land grabbers in the kingdom are making huge profits on government land, and use every possible means to cheat the municipality.


November 17, 2008 2:25 by

SR10 million (around $2.6 million). Two parties claimed ownership of the land.

According to Saudi law, if an investor starts building on a land he does not own, he will be fined between SR10,000 (around $2,660)and SR50,000 (around $13,300). He can also face 15 to 30 days in prison. Repeat offenders face both.

In addition to the fine and jail sentence, the builder will have 10 days to remove any and all structures he may have constructed on the land. If he fails to do so, the concerned committee will level down the area and charge the offender double the demolition expenses.

“We tend to grant them more time, in some cases up to three months, to provide proof of ownership,” says Ba’sabrain.

The problem is so rampant that the Kingdom’s highest religious authority, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Alsheikh, issued a fatwa this year against the illegal taking of government land.

Six notary public officials were reported to have been prosecuted this year for their involvement in illegally issuing deeds on government lands.

“We have received numerous threats, but we are not going to be intimidated,” says Ba’sabrain. “In some cases we had to stop because we were prevented by force. We carried out surprise raids

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