You might have received many requests from your colleagues, friends and sometimes people you don’t know to transfer money from your bank account or receive money in your bank account in Saudi Arabia. People give justification that you have an account in the bank they want to transfer their money so there will be no bank charges for the transfer or their iqama has been expired and it is under processing of renewal or they just don’t want to go to their bank and they don’t have internet banking. As a matter of fact, I don’t really accept such request even if the requestor is my brother. I have explained in the below points, why you should not transfer money on behalf of others.[irp]
1-It consumes your limit to transfer money from Saudi Arabia: Although there is no limit to transfer money from Saudi Arabia as far as you are having white money. As a rule of thumb, the amount of money you transfer should not exceed the money earned from the legal sources after deduction of family expenses. For example, if you have worked in Saudi Arabia for 12 months earning SR 10,000 per month, you should not transfer SR 150,000 from Saudi Arabia. Authorities may ask you about the source of income for additional SR 30,000.
2-Sender or Receiver might have a criminal background: Let’s say you have received or transfer a sum of money on behalf of other and settle the account with him in cash which does not have any legal justification. Later on, you have been approached by authorities that the person to whom you have transferred money is a drug dealer or a terrorist. How would you justify this transfer? The friend to whom you have given favor will not accept it at all that you transferred money on his behalf. You don’t need to invite problems especially when you are living abroad.
3-Heavy Transactions in your bank account: Keep in mind, if your bank account is dealing with heavy transactions which do not support your income. For example, someone asked you to receive SR 200,000 on his behalf. Receiving SR 200,000 might trigger an investigation. Authorities may approach you to give justification for this transfer.
4-Apply for Visa of other countries: One of the requirements of applying for a visa of different countries is to provide a bank statement of previous 3 to 6 months. I know a couple of friends whose visit visa application to UK and USA were rejected due to having credits in their bank statements apart from salary transfers.[irp]
5-It is illegal to transfer on others behalf: Above all, it is illegal to transfer money to someone else behalf. I don’t think it is worth taking the risk to do it. It might affect your relations with colleagues and friends on a temporary basis but ultimately you will be on safe side.
In some cases, it can lead to a serious offense of Money Laundering. It is also important to note that the punishment for Money Laundering is a fine of SR 7 million and a jail term of 15 years.