Saudi Arabia arrests 18 suspected spies

AFP-JIJI

The Saudi authorities have arrested 18 suspected spies, including an Iranian and a Lebanese, on charges of espionage for a foreign country, the Interior Ministry said Tuesday.

“Sixteen Saudis, an Iranian and a Lebanese were arrested in coordinated and simultaneous operations in four regions of the kingdom,” including Riyadh and the holy city of Mecca, the ministry said.

The suspects, some of whom were arrested in Eastern Province where the kingdom’s Shiite minority is concentrated, were working for a foreign country, which it did not name, the ministry said.

Their arrest was made after the ministry had “received information concerning the involvement of Saudis and expats in espionage on behalf of a another country,” said a statement from the ministry that was carried by the official SPA news agency.

The suspects “gathered information on vital installations that they provided to the country” they had been working for, it added.