$100billion embezzled – Attorney General reveals

Saudi Arabia’s attorney general says at least $100bn (£76bn) has been misused through systemic corruption and embezzlement in recent decades.

Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb said 201 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 reportedly include senior princes, ministers and influential businessmen.

“The evidence for this wrongdoing is very strong,” Sheikh Mojeb said.

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.

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Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb said investigations by the newly-formed supreme anti-corruption committee, which 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,” the attorney general said. “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.”

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