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Graft was costing Saudi govt $20bn a year: Crown Prince

RIYADH, March 19, 2018

The anti-graft crackdown initiated in Saudi Arabia recently was "extremely necessary" because roughly $20 billion of state funds was "disappearing" every year, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said in a US television interview. 
 
In the interview aired by CBS television on Sunday, the crown prince said Saudi Arabia has recovered more than $100 billion so far in its crackdown against corruption, a report in Arab News said.
 
"The amount exceeds $100 billion, but the real objective was not this amount or any other amount. The idea is not to get money, but to punish the corrupt and send a clear signal that whoever engages in corrupt deals will face the law," he said.
 
On the issue of women’s dress code and the stipulations of the Sharia, the crown prince said: “Women wear decent, respectful clothing, like men. This, however, does not particularly specify a black abaya or a black head cover. The decision is entirely left for women to decide what type of decent and respectful attire she chooses to wear.”
 
With a ban lifted on women driving in the Kingdom and women getting ready to sit behind the wheel this June, the crown prince was again asked the issue of women and driving in Saudi Arabia. He said: “This is no longer an issue. Today, driving schools have been established and will open soon. In a few months, women will drive in Saudi Arabia. We are finally over that painful period that we cannot justify.” 
 
The crown prince also said work is underway to a new initiative to introduce regulations ensuring equal pay for men and women.
 
Speaking on the threats posed by Iran and its proxies across the region, he said if Iran acquired a nuclear weapon then Saudi Arabia will too.
 
The interview was conducted by CBS anchorwoman Norah O’Donnell.



Tags: Saudi | graft | Crown Prince Mohammed |

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