Saudi Arabia ends anti-corruption probe with $107bn in coffers

Corruption investigation concludes with the approval of King Salman, according to official statement
Saudi Arabia ends anti-corruption probe with $107bn in coffers
Saudi Arabia's anti-graft sweep was led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Thu 31 Jan 2019 08:56 AM

Saudi Arabia has announced the end of a high-profile anti-corruption probe that boosted the state coffers by more than $100 billion and has left dozens detained.

The crackdown on graft launched in 2017 saw hundreds of elite princes, ministers and businessmen held at the luxury Ritz-Carlton hotel in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Many were detained for weeks in the upmarket hotel, but most were released after agreeing significant financial settlements.

The corruption investigation concluded Wednesday with the approval of King Salman, according to a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.

"The public prosecutor has refused to settle the cases of 56 individuals due to already existing criminal charges against them," the statement said.

An additional eight people have seen their cases referred to the public prosecutor after they refused to reach settlements.

"Settlements were reached with 87 individuals after their confession to the charges against them," SPA said.

During the probe more than 400 billion Saudi riyal ($107 billion) were recovered by the state "in the form of real estate, companies, cash, and other assets".

The figure matches that announced a year ago by the attorney general, who at the time said 56 suspects remained in custody.

Saudi's anti-graft sweep led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been labelled by some critics as a shakedown and power grab, but authorities have insisted the purge targeted endemic corruption.

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