JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia launched a crackdown on public corruption on Saturday and apppointed new ministers for the National Guard and for economy and planning.
National Guard Minister Miteb bin Abdullah was dismissed and replaced by Prince Khaled bin Ayyaf. Economy and Planning Minister Adel Fakeih was dismissed and replaced by Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri.
The Commander of the Navy, Adm. Abdullah Al-Sultan, was relieved of his position and replaced by Fahad Al-Ghofaili, who is promoted to the rank of Admiral.
King Salman also ordered the formation of a new anti-corruption committee headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and comprising the chairman of the Monitoring and Investigation Commission, the chairman of the National Anti-Corruption Authority, the chief of the General Audit Bureau, the Attorney General and the head of State Security.
“We have noticed exploitation by some weak souls who have put their own interests above the public interest, in order to illicitly accrue money,” the king said.
The job of the new anti-corruption committee will be to “identify offenses, crimes, persons and entities involved in cases of public corruption,” he said.
The committee is empowered to investigate, issue arrest warrants and travel bans, order financial disclosure and the freezing of accounts and portfolios, track funds and assets and prevent their remittance or transfer by persons and entities.
“The committee has the right to take any precautionary measures it sees fit, until they are referred to the investigating authorities or judicial bodies,” the king said.
“It may take whatever measures deemed necessary to deal with those involved in public corruption cases and take what it considers to be the right of persons, entities, funds, fixed and movable assets, at home and abroad, return funds to the state treasury and register property and assets in the name of state property.
“The committee may seek the assistance of those it deems necessary and may set up teams for investigation, prosecution, etc., and may delegate some or all of its powers to these teams.”
When its tasks are complete, the king ordered the committee to submit a detailed report to him on its findings and what actions it had taken.