Kingdom Ends Corruption Crackdown with $106 Billion Recovered

Saudi investigators have recovered assets worth more than $106 billion in an anti-corruption crackdown ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the royal court said on Wednesday.

The crackdown began in November 2017 when Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered suspects detained at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh. The government summoned 381 people, although some appeared only as witnesses to give evidence. Settlements were reached with 87 people who confessed to the charges against them, the royal court said.

The Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh.

The Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh.

The funds seized “are in the form of property, companies, cash and other assets surrendered by senior princes, ministers and top businessmen who were under investigation,” Arab News reports.

According to Arab News, the crackdown was formally ended by King Salman, after the anti-corruption committee set up by the crown prince submitted its report to the King on Wednesday. “It said it had now completed its work, and asked for the king’s permission to cease operations. The king agreed, and thanked the committee and the crown prince for their efforts.”

Steffen Hertog, a Gulf specialist at the London School of Economics, told Bloomberg that the “intention is to signal that the purge is over and the private sector can go back to business as usual.”