Saudi Arabia’s Crackdown on Corruption has Netted the Government Over $106 billion; 56 Suspects Still in Custody

Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on corruption has netted the government over $106 billion, according comments from the official in charge of the effort.

Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al-Mojeb said on Tuesday that 56 corruption suspects were still in custody out of a total of 381 people detained on graft charges.

According to the Saudi Gazette, the Attorney General, as a member of the Supreme Anti-Corruption Committee, said in a statement that the subpoenaed individuals were called to testify or provide evidence. The government announced that it had settled or released most cases, with the remaining se to be referred to public prosecution.

Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al-Mojeb

Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al-Mojeb

“The review of the case files relating to those who were accused of corruption has been completed. Negotiations and settlement with those individuals who were charged with corruption were concluded, and cases were transferred to the Public Prosecution office to complete the relevant procedures. As a result, the Public Prosecution office decided to release all individuals against whom there was not sufficient evidence and also release all individuals with whom the government accepted to make settlements after they admitted to corruption allegations against them,” the statement said.

According to the Saudi Gazette, the Public Prosecutor’s Office will examine the cases of those referred to it by the Committee and complete the legal procedures against them, including continuing the investigation.

The announcement by the attorney general regarding the settlement figures “appeared to represent a political victory for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who launched the purge last November and predicted at the time that it would net about $100 billion in settlements,” Reuters writes. “The huge sum, if it is successfully recovered, would be a big financial boost for the government, which has seen its finances strained by low oil prices. The state budget deficit this year is projected at 195 billion riyals ($52 billion).”