Saudi anti-corruption crackdown recovers $107 billion in assets

Saudi Arabia's King Salman has received a report from a special committee investigating public corruption, which will see billions of riyals recovered. (SPA/File photo)
Updated 31 January 2019

Saudi anti-corruption crackdown recovers $107 billion in assets

  • More than SR400 billion ($107bn) was “retrieved to the state treasury"
  • Settlements were reached with 87 of those accused after they confessed

RIYADH: Saudi investigators have recovered assets worth more than $106 billion in an anti-corruption crackdown ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the royal court said on Wednesday.

The funds are in the form of property, companies, cash and other assets surrendered by  senior princes, ministers and top businessmen who were under investigation.

In the anti-corruption campaign launched in November 2017, many of the Kingdom’s economic and political elite were detained in Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel for nearly three months.

The government summoned 381 people, although some appeared only as witnesses to give evidence. 

A comprehensive review was conducted of the case against each of those detained, under the supervision of the Public Prosecutor, and each was presented with the allegations against them.

Settlements were reached with 87 people who confessed to the charges against them, the royal court said. 

The public prosecutor refused to settle the cases of 56 people because of existing criminal charges against them. Eight people refused to reach a settlement, and have been referred to public prosecution for further action under the law.

Everyone who was detained but not indicted on charges related to corruption has been released, the court said.

The anti-corruption committee set up by the crown prince submitted its report to King Salman on Wednesday. It said it had now completed its work, and asked for the king’s permission to cease operations.

The king agreed, and thanked the committee and the crown prince for their efforts.

King Salman pledged that the Kingdom would “continue its efforts to preserve integrity, combat corruption, and empower law enforcement and other relevant state bodies so that they are able to effectively practice their role in preserving public funds.”


Saudi Cabinet congratulates security forces for thwarting terror cell

King Salman chairs the virtual meeting. (SPA)
Updated 30 September 2020

Saudi Cabinet congratulates security forces for thwarting terror cell

  • King Salman thanked international leaders and officials for their messages of congratulations to the Kingdom and its people on the occasion of its 90th National Day

RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday congratulated the Presidency of State Security for its work in identifying and apprehending the suspected members of a terror cell in the Kingdom.

Some of those who were arrested allegedly trained at sites in Iran run by the country’s Revolutionary Guards. A cache of weapons and explosives was also seized.

Ministers expressed their appreciation for the efforts of the presidency’s employees in tracking down those who threaten the security and stability of the Kingdom and the safety of those who live there.

Majid Al-Qasabi, the acting minister of media, said that while reviewing the latest regional and international developments, cabinet members reiterated the Kingdom’s call during the recent International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference for the international community to adopt a firm stance on Iran, and take steps to address its violations of international agreements relating to its nuclear-research program. They also reaffirmed Saudi support for efforts, in partnership with the international community, to make the Middle East a nuclear weapon-free zone.

The virtual meeting was chaired by King Salman, who began by passing on his condolences and sympathy to the people of Kuwait and the family of its Emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who died on Tuesday. He also congratulated the emir’s successor, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

King Salman thanked international leaders and officials for their messages of congratulations to the Kingdom and its people on the occasion of its 90th National Day. He also briefed ministers on his recent telephone conversation with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which the two leaders reviewed bilateral relations and discussed opportunities to further develop them.

The cabinet commended the king for his speech during the UN’s 75th General Assembly in New York, during which he emphasized the his country’s continued commitment to assisting the international community in efforts to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and address its humanitarian and economic implications.

Ministers also noted that his speech reflected the Kingdom’s dedication to security, stability and prosperity as a strategic choice, its call for peaceful coexistence, moderation and solidarity among all countries and peoples to address humanitarian challenges, its support for political solutions to conflicts, and its efforts to combat extremism in all its forms.

Al-Qasabi said that the Cabinet welcomed the announcement by the Kingdom that the G20 Leaders’ Summit will take place as planned as scheduled on Nov. 21 and 22, albeit virtually as a result of the pandemic. Saudi Arabia hold the presidency of the G20 this year.

Ministers also expressed their appreciation for international efforts, led by G20 countries, that have resulted in the provision of more than $21 billion to support the production of diagnostic and therapeutic tools during the pandemic, and the development and distribution of vaccines. In addition, more than $11 trillion has been allocated to protect the global economy, and more than $14 billion to mitigate the debt burdens of less-developed countries and help fund their health services and social programs. The Cabinet also reviewed the latest local and international developments in the pandemic, along with preparations for the safe resumption of Umrah.

Ministers reiterated the Saudi call, during an emergency meeting of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for Environmental Affairs, for urgent action to avoid an environmental catastrophe in the Red Sea as a result of the deteriorating condition of the oil tanker Safer, which has been anchored off the coast of Yemen, near Ras Issa port, since 2015.

The Cabinet also expressed its concern over developments in the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and urged both sides to agree a ceasefire and resolve the conflict peacefully in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.