Saudi AG reveals corruption close to $100 billion, 7 suspects released without charge

Attorney General Saud Al-Mojeb. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 12 November 2017
0

Saudi AG reveals corruption close to $100 billion, 7 suspects released without charge

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has uncovered corruption to the tune of $100 billion.
In a statement on Thursday, Attorney General Saud Al-Mojeb said: “The investigations of the Supreme Anti-Corruption Committee are proceeding quickly ... The potential scale of corrupt practices which have been uncovered is very large.”
Based on the investigations over the past three years, Al-Mojeb estimated that “at least $100 billion has been misused through systematic corruption and embezzlement over several decades.”
He said a total of 208 individuals have been called in for questioning so far. Of them, “seven have been released without charge.”
Al-Mojeb, who is also the member of the anti-corruption committee, said the evidence for “this wrongdoing is very strong and confirms the original suspicions which led the Saudi authorities to begin the investigation into these suspects in the first place.”
 

He said given the scale of the allegations, the Saudi authorities, under the direction of the royal order issued on Nov. 4, had a clear legal mandate to move to the next phase of “our investigations, and to take action to suspend personal bank accounts.”
“On Tuesday, the governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) agreed to my request to suspend the personal bank accounts of persons of interests in the investigation,” he said.
Al-Mojeb admitted that there has been a great deal of speculation around the world regarding the identities of the individuals concerned and the details of the charges against them.
“In order to ensure that the individuals continue to enjoy the full legal rights afforded to them under Saudi law, we will not be revealing any more personal details at this time,” he said.
“We ask that their privacy is respected while they continue to be subject to our judicial process.”
He reiterated that it was important to repeat, as all Saudi authorities have done over the past few days, that normal commercial activity in the Kingdom is not affected by these investigations.
“Only personal bank accounts have been suspended. Companies and banks are free to continue with transactions as usual,” he said.
Al-Mojeb said: “The Government of Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is working within a clear legal and institutional framework to maintain transparency and integrity in the market.”


King of Latin pop Enrique Iglesias launches Ad Diriyah festival

Spanish superstar Enrique Iglesias performs at the launch of a three-day festival of music, culture and motorsport on Thursday in Ad Diriyah, near Riyadh. (Twitter)
Updated 14 December 2018
0

King of Latin pop Enrique Iglesias launches Ad Diriyah festival

  • Enrique Iglesias took the stage in an outdoor arena in historic Ad Diriyah
  • The cheers were deafening, the excitement electric and the performance magical

RIYADH: Spanish superstar Enrique Iglesias launched a three-day festival  of music, culture and motorsport on Thursday with a stunning concert at an outdoor arena in historic Ad Diriyah.

The king of Latin pop took the stage by storm and stole the hearts of thousands in the crowd, whose screams could be heard from a long way away. “I love you Enrique,” a group of girls in the audience shouted.

As he waved his hand back and forth in the air, the crowd started doing the same while jumping up and down. The cheers were deafening, the excitement electric and the performance magical. 

No theatrics were excluded as displays of fireworks and lasers wowed the audience. The singer asked the crowd if they spoke Spanish, and everyone screamed “Yes.”

While stage smoke poured into the arena a female performer sang a duet with Iglesias, who then delighted the crowd with some impromptu salsa dancing in front of the stage.

Fans waved their uplifted phones with their screens and flashes along with the music, while others tried to capture the performance.

“You can run, you can hide but you can’t escape my love,” sang Iglesias while the crowd screamed.

Earlier the R&B singer, songwriter and dancer Jason Derulo persuaded the crowd to put on their dancing shoes with an energetic set.

“Saudi, whassup! This is a dream come true for me! Since we are in Saudi Arabia I want to do things a little different,” he told the audience. He said his mother taught him to never visit empty handed, so his gift to Saudi Arabia was the debut performance of a new song.

Thursday’s entertainment will be followed on Friday by shows from Arab music star Amr Diab and the Black Eyed Peas. The climax of the festival comes on Saturday with the Saudia Ad Diriyah Formula E Grand Prix motor race, followed by headline performances by OneRepublic and the megastar DJ/producer David Guetta.