Home Business How Saudi Anti-Corruption Drive Generated $106bn In Settlements

How Saudi Anti-Corruption Drive Generated $106bn In Settlements

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A sweeping anti-corruption drive in Saudi Arabia has generated an estimated $106.7bn (£75.6bn) in settlements, the kingdom’s attorney general has said.

Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb said 56 of the 381 people called in for questioning since 4 November remained in custody in Saudi.

The others had been cleared or admitted guilt and handed over properties, cash, securities and other assets, he added.

In recent days, the billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and Alwalid al-Ibrahim, owner of the Arab satellite television network MBC, were released from detention at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh’s diplomatic quarter.

Both men insisted they were innocent, but Saudi official sources said they had agreed to financial settlements after admitting unspecified “violations”.

Others known to have been freed include Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, a son of the late King Abdullah who sources said had handed over more than $1bn in assets; and state minister Ibrahim al-Assaf, who was reportedly cleared of any wrongdoing.

The anti-corruption drive is being spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 32-year-old son of King Salman, who has rejected as “ludicrous” analysts’ suggestions that it is a power grab. He said many of those detained had pledged allegiance to him since he became heir apparent in June.

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