Africans Beat Up STC Staff, Take Away Prepaid Cards

Saeed Al-Abyad, Arab News, Aug. 2

JEDDAH—Authorities have launched an investigation against two African nationals accused of beating up a Saudi Telecom Company (STC) employee responsible for selling prepaid cards. The two stole 300 cards from him worth about SR100,000.

According to preliminary investigations, the suspects had kept a close watch on the STC employee as he left one of the malls in the city. They grabbed him, beat him up, and snatched the brief case he was carrying that contained the prepaid cards.

Jeddah police apprehended the suspects after a special team from the Criminal Investigation Unit led by Lt. Col. Ayid Al-Nufaie and Lt. Hashim Al-Sheikhi rounded up several African nationals in areas south of the city that are notorious for black market sales of prepaid cards.

The STC employee was able to identify his two attackers from the number of people who were arrested during the operation.

The two suspects are expected to be transferred to court after police interrogate them where they will be charged with theft. Police are also trying to determine whether the suspects were involved in other crimes related to illegal sales of prepaid cards or theft.

Security forces in Jeddah have successfully netted in several operations some 225 suspects wanted by the government for various crimes that swept the city in the past two months.

Police were also able to arrest 26,000 illegal residents in 13 raids in various parts of the city, mainly in the poorer districts of Al-Sulai, Al-Karanteena and others.

The government bodies that cooperated in the raids were: Police Patrol Units; Special Forces Unit; Criminal Investigation Unit; Makkah Passport Department; Jeddah Traffic Department, and the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. Illegal devices and expired foodstuffs were discovered in the raids.

In addition, police managed to discover and shut down many brothels. According to the Jeddah Police Department, some 20,000 houses, warehouses and stores where many illegal residents hid in were raided during the past two months.

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