Beware! Illegal crowd-funding in Saudi Arabia may land you in serious trouble

P A Hameed Padubidri
February 22, 2023

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You may come across social media messages requesting for the financial helps and other philanthropic gestures for the victims of recent Turkey - Syria earthquake that claimed thousands of human lives, injured hundreds of thousands and left millions homeless. 

In countries like Saudi Arabia, wherein government has launched official channel to help the quake victims, any such unauthorized messages (by the citizens or residents including NRIs) might land you in serious legal trouble as it goes outside the framework of the KSA's laws and rules.

People in their personal capacities are not allowed to engaging in raising funds publicly or secretly for such cause that crosses the parameter of the Saudi government. 

We can't deny the any possibility of the situation in Syria and Turkey is being misused by some people. Such funds or charities might also reach the wrong hands or into the accounts of extremist organisations. 

Commission of any such act by citizens or residents even in good faith or out of innocence will trigger serious legal consequences as per the provisions of the Saudi Arabian law. None is allowed to give and collect money in the KSA in an unauthorised manner. 

A simple advertisement through emails or messages on WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, or fake websites with bank accounts etc showing the pictures of the victims might be used by the wrongdoers to grab the attention of the people and to swindle their money. 

Both fundraisers and donors will be held responsible for such unlawful act unless they prove of their blamelessness.  

The government of Saudi Arabia has agreed on more than 183 million riyals ($48.8 million) worth of projects to help Syria and Turkey after this month’s devastating earthquakes. 

The government also went an extra mile to involve both citizens and residents to donate for this cause through its App named ‘Sahem’. The ‘Sahem’ (or ‘contribute’ in English) online campaign launched by King Salman intends to raise public funds to help the rescue and relief work for the people in Syria and Turkey.

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coastaldigest.com news network
June 29,2024

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The UN agency for Palestinian refugees says over 625,000 children in Gaza have not attended school for more than eight months as the Israeli regime continues its brutal war on the densely-populated territory.

In a social post, the UN agency said there were 300,000 UNRWA students before the war.

"Play and learning activities provided by UNRWA teams are critical in preparing children to get back to school and restore their right to education," the UN agency said, posting photos of UNRWA staff training Gazan kids.

The regime has been attacking the densely-populated region non-stop for nearly nine months now, killing at least 15 thousand children, in defiance of a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire.

The regime has also imposed a total blockade on the strip that has cut the flow of food, clean water, and medicine to the region.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered the regime to halt its offensive in Rafah immediately.

Last Saturday, the Gaza Government’s Media Office said in a statement that at least 800,000 students of various educational levels have been deprived of their right to education in the region.

It said about 40,000 high school students will not be able to take this year’s exams, which endangers their opportunities in local and international higher education.

“40,000 high school students from various branches will not be able to participate in this year’s session of the high school exams, representing an unprecedented violation that threatens their future and undermines their chances of enrolling in local and international universities and colleges,” the media office added.

The media office said, “85 percent of educational facilities are out of service due to direct and deliberate targeting, posing a significant challenge to efforts to resume the educational process after the war ends."

It said plans have been implemented to make up for the academic year for students to ensure that the academic year is not lost and that they possess the essential concepts and skills necessary for their continued learning.

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News Network
July 8,2024

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A leading general medical journal has estimated that the death toll from Israel’s genocidal war on the Gaza Strip could be 186,000 or even more, translating to 7.9 percent of the population in the Palestinian territory.

In a report published on Friday, The Lancet said the figure includes both direct and indirect deaths from the Israeli onslaught and those still buried under the rubble in the besieged Gaza.

The journal added that it had applied a conservative estimate of four indirect deaths per one direct death reported by the Gaza Health Ministry.

“It is not implausible to estimate that up to 186,000 or even more deaths could be attributable to the current conflict in Gaza,” it said.

Israel unleashed its brutal Gaza offensive on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out its historic operation against the occupying entity in retaliation for the regime’s intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, the Tel Aviv regime has so far killed at least 38,514 Palestinians, mostly women and children, in Gaza. The ministry announces the death toll only after receiving the dead bodies. 

The figure provided by the ministry is “likely an underestimate,” The Lancet said. “The total death toll is expected to be large given the intensity of this conflict; destroyed health-care infrastructure; severe shortages of food, water, and shelter; the population’s inability to flee to safe places; and the loss of funding to UNRWA, one of the very few humanitarian organizations still active in the Gaza Strip.”

It also called for an immediate and urgent ceasefire in Gaza accompanied by measures to enable the distribution of medical supplies, food, clean water, and other resources for basic human needs.

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News Network
July 6,2024

Mangaluru: An unsuspecting woman, who fell prey to online fraud, lost Rs 18.1 lakh. The complainant, who works from home, received a call on July 1 from an unknown person claiming to be from FedEx, informing her that a parcel had been registered in her name. 

Eager to find out more, she was instructed to press 1. After doing so, a person identifying himself as Anurag Tomar, with an employee ID, briefly introduced himself before ending the call.

Anurag Tomar called her back and alleged that the parcel contained contraband items, including a passport, four credit cards, 25 strips of LSD, and some clothes.

He told her she would be connected to the Mumbai Crime Branch and instructed her to download the Skype app for a video call.

Following these instructions, she spoke with an individual claiming to be an officer from the Mumbai Crime Branch. This person obtained her Aadhaar card and bank account details, and instructed her to add a beneficiary to her account. 

Over the course of the conversation, Rs 15 lakh was transferred from her account, followed by an additional Rs 3.1 lakh, after adding another beneficiary. The scammers stayed in touch with her until about 7.30 pm.

When the complainant attempted to reconnect with the same number, she was unable to reach anyone. She informed her family and realised that she had been defrauded. From 1.30 pm to 7.30 pm, the scammers made her believe they were from the Mumbai Crime Branch, threatening her with a case involving the alleged LSD found in the parcel. In total, she was cheated out of Rs 18.1 lakh, she alleged.

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