Saudi Arabia’s attorney general has revealed that at least $100bn has been misused through systemic corruption and embezzlement in recent decades.
Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb also confirmed that 199 people were being held for questioning as part of a sweeping anti-corruption drive that began on Saturday night. He did not name any of them, but they include senior princes, ministers and influential businessmen.
In his words, “the evidence for this wrongdoing is very strong”. He also stressed that normal commercial activity in the kingdom had not been affected by the crackdown, and that only personal bank accounts had been frozen.
He also said investigations by the supreme anti-corruption committee, which was formed by royal decree and is headed by 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, were “progressing very quickly”.
He announced that 208 individuals had been called in for questioning so far, and that seven of them had been released without charge. “The potential scale of corrupt practices which have been uncovered is very large. 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” the attorney general said.