Saudi Arabia’s $100 billion corruption scandal

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Saudi Arabia says corruption has claimed $100 billion over decades – Nov. 9, 2017

Saudi hotel becomes luxurious makeshift prison

Corrupt practices by Saudi royals and officials have cost the kingdom at least $100 billion over decades.

Saudi Arabia’s attorney general, Sheikh Saud Al Mojeb, gave the estimate of the losses in a statement Thursday.

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He also said that 208 individuals have been questioned, and seven have been released without charge.

“Based on our investigations over the past three years, we estimate that at least $100 billion has been misused through systematic corruption and embezzlement over several decades,” the kingdom’s top legal official said.

“The evidence for this wrongdoing is very strong, and confirms the original suspicions which led the Saudi Arabian authorities to begin the investigation in the first place.”

Saudi authorities arrested dozens of royals, businessmen and senior government officials on Saturday in a surprise anti-corrpution sweep. Those arrested included billionaire businessman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the former head of the royal court Khaled Al-Tuwaijri, and Saudi media mogul Waleed Al-Ibrahim.

Related: Arrested Saudi prince built empire from Riyadh to Silicon Valley

Saudi Arabia has established a new anti-corruption committee, headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It has the authority to investigate, arrest, issue travel bans and freeze the assets of those it finds corrupt.

The Saudi central bank said on Tuesday it had frozen the personal accounts of those involved in the investigation.

CNNMoney (Dubai) First published November 9, 2017: 9:48 AM ET

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