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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud ... tightening grip

Decades of corruption cost $100bn says Saudi official

WASHINGTON, November 10, 2017

Saudi Arabian authorities have announced that an on-going three-year investigation has revealed that, at minimum, an estimated $100 billion has been misused by way of systematic corruption and embezzlement over several decades.

Saud Al Mojeb, Saudi Arabia's Attorney General and member of the Supreme Anti-Corruption Committee, a body formed by Royal Order on November 4, said so far, a total of 208 individuals have been called in for questioning as part of the anti-corruption drive and seven have been released without charge.

In a statement, he said: "The potential scale of corrupt practices, which has been uncovered, is substantial. An on-going 3-year investigation revealed that, at minimum, an estimated $100 billion has been misused by way of systematic corruption and embezzlement over several decades.  There is strong evidence that confirms initial suspicions, which led Saudi Arabian authorities to initiate a deeper investigation with the suspects."

Given the magnitude of the allegations, Saudi Arabian authorities, under the Royal Order directive, has a clear, legal mandate to move to the next phase of the investigations and suspend personal bank accounts, the statement said.

To this end, on November 7, the Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (Sama) agreed to the request to suspend the personal bank accounts, not the business accounts, of the persons of interests in the investigation, he said.

"There has been a great deal of speculation around the world regarding the identities of the concerned individuals, as well as, the details around charges brought against them. In order to ensure that the individuals continue to be afforded the full legal rights granted 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 go through the judicial process.

"It is worth reiterating, as many Saudi authorities have already done, that normal commercial activity in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not affected by these investigations. Only personal bank accounts have been suspended. Companies and banks are free to continue with transactions in line with business as usual," the statement added.

The Government of Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, is working within a clear legal and institutional framework in order to maintain transparency and integrity in the market, the statement added. - TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Saudi Arabia | Corruption | Crown prince | King Salman |

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