Saudi Arabia rakes in $107 billion from corruption suspects
Saudi Arabia says it has already recovered more than 400 billion riyals ($107 billion) from people arrested in a crackdown into alleged corruption.
Most suspects have been released from detention after agreeing to pay settlements “in various types of assets, including real estate, commercial entities, securities, cash and other assets,” Saudi Arabia’s Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al Mojeb said in a statement on Tuesday.
Authorities are now winding down the probe that began on November 4 when authorities arrested dozens of royals, government officials and prominent businessmen. Many were held at the luxury Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh.
Sheikh Saud said 381 people had been subpoenaed in total. Some were released because officials were unable to provide “sufficient evidence” to support the allegations against them, while others were freed after “admitting to corruption allegations” and settling with the government.
The attorney general said 56 people remain in custody.
One of the highest profile suspects, billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal, was released on Saturday. The conditions of his freedom remain unclear, and the country’s ministry of information said it would not comment on his situation.
Alwaleed, the founder of Kingdom Holding, told Reuters hours before his release that there were “no charges” against him.
Saudi Arabia’s finance minister said last week that some of the cash recovered will be used to fund state handouts that were announced earlier by King Salman to ease the pain of government subsidy cuts and tax hikes.