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 Embassy evacuates 300 tourists from Lebanon

Updated 19 October 2019

Saudi Embassy evacuates 300 tourists from Lebanon

  • The embassy said that evacuees were escorted to Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut by Lebanese security forces to guarantee their safety
  • Three Saudia aircraft were used to transport them

BEIRUT: Saudi Arabia's embassy in Lebanon has confirmed it has facilitated the “evacuation of Saudi residents and visitors” from the country.
“The evacuation operation, imposed by the security situation in Lebanon and the importance of ensuring the safety of Saudi nationals, started Saturday at 5 a.m. after the Kingdom secured three Saudia aircraft to transport them,” the embassy told Arab News.
“Three hundred people were evacuated as of Saturday afternoon, while the total number of those wishing to leave remains unclear. We have identified a hotel in Beirut as a starting point,” it added, noting that most of those who had left were tourists.
The embassy also confirmed evacuees were escorted to Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut by Lebanese security forces to guarantee their safety.
Protests broke out in Lebanon on Thursday night, and disorder has disrupted roads leading to the airport, with burning tires blocking several key routes.
On Friday, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged its citizens already in Lebanon to exercise “utmost caution.”
Egypt’s Embassy in Beirut also called on its nationals in the country to avoid protest areas, Egyptian state news agency MENA said.
“The embassy calls on all Egyptian citizens in Lebanon to avoid the areas of gatherings and protests, to be careful in their movements and to abide by the instructions of the Lebanese authorities in this regard,” MENA reported.
Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Embassy in Lebanon asked citizens wishing to travel to the country to delay trips where possible.
“The embassy also calls on citizens currently in Lebanon to take utmost care and stay away from crowds and demonstrations,” it said on social media site Twitter.
Bahrain and the UAE warned against travel to Lebanon and called on their citizens in the country to leave immediately.