SAUDI ARAB: Six Filipino workers are charged by Saudi Arabian authorities for their involvement in diesel smuggling. All of them are charged and punished.
Investigation showed one of the accused, a drilling supervisor, paid $150,000 or SR560,000 to another defendant in return for his signature.
The signature would allow a boat carrying the smuggled diesel to move out of Saudi waters.
Further investigation also showed the defendants received bribes from the boat commander to facilitate the smuggling.
A second defendant confessed he accepted the amount in exchange for his signature as an authorized officer.
Presently, the Filipinos are detained in a prison in Dammam, and face fines ranging from SR20,000 to SR560,000.
Citing a separate report by Al-Hayat daily, the Arab News report said the men may face jail of up to 10 years and a fine of one million riyals.
The report said this has dismayed the Filipino community in Saudi Arabia. But it also prompted the Filipinos to urge fellow Filipinos to be law-abiding and not damage the Philippines’ image.
“As OFWs we should limit our activities to our work and basic lifestyle requirements necessary to live and survive in the Kingdom,” said Saidy Malic, a community leader.
For its part, militant group Migrante-Middle East asked the Philippine Embassy to look into the reported arrest of the six Filipinos.