Saudi anti-corruption probe finds ‘$100bn was embezzled’


Ritz-Carlton Hotel's entrance gate in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (5 November 2017)Image copyright

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Those caught up within the anti-corruption drive are reportedly being held at Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton

Saudi Arabia’s lawyer basic says at the very least $100bn (£76bn) has been misused via systemic corruption and embezzlement in current a long time.

Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb stated 199 individuals had been being held for questioning as a part of a sweeping anti-corruption drive that started on Saturday evening.

He didn’t identify any of them, however they reportedly embrace senior princes, ministers and influential businessmen.

“The evidence for this wrongdoing is very strong,” Sheikh Mojeb stated.

He additionally burdened that standard industrial exercise within the kingdom had not been affected by the crackdown, and that solely private financial institution accounts had been frozen.

Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb stated investigations by the supreme anti-corruption committee, which was shaped by royal decree and is headed by 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, had been “progressing very quickly”.

He introduced that 208 people had been referred to as in for questioning to date, and that seven of them had been launched with out cost.

“The potential scale of corrupt practices which have been uncovered is very large,” the lawyer basic stated.

“Based on our investigations over the past three years, we estimate that at least $100bn has been misused through systematic corruption and embezzlement over several decades.”

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Media captionFive issues about Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Sheikh Mojeb stated the committee had a transparent authorized mandate to maneuver on to the subsequent section of its investigation and that it had suspended the financial institution accounts of “persons of interest” on Tuesday.

“There has been a great deal of speculation around the world regarding the identities of the individuals concerned and the details of the charges against them,” he added.

“In order to ensure that the individuals continue to enjoy the full legal rights afforded to them under Saudi law, we will not be revealing any more personal details at this time. We ask that their privacy is respected while they continue to be subject to our judicial process.”

Those detained reportedly embrace the billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, who was additionally eliminated as National Guard chief.

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