Attorney General of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and member of the Supreme Committee for Combating Corruption Sheikh Saud Al Mujab said on Thursday that seven of the 208 accused of corruption have been released in the latest development related to the action initiated by the recently instituted High Commission against Corruption.
“The number of persons arrested was 208, while seven were released, for lack of sufficient evidence,” a statement issued by the Attorney-General said.
"The potential scale of corrupt practices which have been uncovered is very large," the attorney general said.
"Based on our investigations over the past three years, we estimate that at least $100bn has been misused through systematic corruption and embezzlement over several decades."
Further evidence to substantiate the facts in these cases will continue to be collected he said, and “as announced on Tuesday, the Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) has accepted my request to freeze their personal assets in this investigation."
Sheikh Saud made it clear that “given the magnitude of these charges, under the Royal Order of 4 November, there is a clear legal mandate to move to the next stage of investigations with the suspects, and there is a great deal of speculation around the world about the identities of the individuals concerned and the details of the charges against them. However, we will not disclose any details at this time, to ensure that they enjoy the full legal rights granted to them by the Kingdom, and ask to respect their privacy while undergoing judicial proceedings.”
He also stressed that normal commercial activity in the kingdom had not been affected by the crackdown and that only personal bank accounts had been frozen.
“Only personal bank accounts were frozen, and companies and banks have the freedom to continue transactions and transfers as usual, something that the official authorities in the Kingdom had pointed out and reiterated,” he said.
The work of the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is within a clear legal and institutional framework to maintain transparency and integrity in the Saudi market.