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Cases referred to Public Prosecution up 14.5%

31 Jan 2023 By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – The number of criminal cases received by the Public Prosecution rose to 32,277 in 2022, an increase of 14.5 per cent compared to 2021. Of these, cases of bounced cheques topped the list, while 13 murders were reported in 2022.

Presiding over an annual press conference, H E Nasr bin Khamis al Sawai, Public Prosecutor, said, “Bounced cheques topped the criminal cases of 2022, increasing by 14.9 per cent.”

This was followed by cases of violating the Residence Law, the Labour Law, cases related to narcotics and psychotropic substances, information technology crimes, violations of the Consumer Protection Law, violations of human freedom and dignity, cases of theft and extortion of money, fraud, and traffic violations.

About the murders witnessed in Oman last year, H E Sawai said, “A working group has been formed by the Ministry of Social Development, in cooperation with the Public Prosecution, to study each murder case separately, and work is under way.”

Though the number of murders in 2021 and 2022 remained constant at 13, Dr Ahmed bin Saeed al Shukaili, Assistant Public Prosecutor, pointed out that the murders are deeply concerning, particularly the use of knives or ‘white arms’ in these crimes. The Public Prosecution is liaising with the authorities concerned to investigate the causes.

H E Sawai informed that 30,543 cases of juvenile delinquency were reported last year, 14.7 per cent higher than 2021, while the number of felonies rose 9.8 per cent to 1,378.

The number of cases reported to the Public Funds and Money Laundering Department dropped to 43 last year, and RO12,418,971 was recovered.

Muscat governorate recorded 13,155 criminal cases – 40.8 per cent of the total reported and the highest in the country – while Musandam recorded the lowest number of cases – 188 or 0.6 per cent of the total.

The Public Prosecutor said that the body achieved a completion rate of 97 per cent of the cases referred to it in 2022. It referred 19,558 cases to designated courts and reserved 11,687 cases.

The number of registered suspects rose to 40,113 – 15 per cent higher than 2021 – and expatriate suspects constituted 42.3 per cent of the total number of accused persons.

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