Tuesday, 20 August, 2019

Saudi government expects to seize more than $100bn in corruption crack-down

Saudi government expects to seize more than $100bn in corruption crack-down Saudi government expects to seize more than $100bn in corruption crack-down
Patty Aguilar | 31 January, 2018, 19:31

Raif Badawi, a blogger who envisioned a more enlightened Saudi Arabia, was imprisoned and served with 1000 lashes which gave rise to a lot of media protests.

His release came hours after he told Reuters in an interview that he expected to be cleared of any wrongdoing and be freed within days. It was not immediately known what kind of settlement Prince Alwaleed had agreed to. Fashion retailer Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Co, which had jumped 6.8pc on Sunday after some of its major shareholders were released in the corruption probe, fell back 2.5pc.

But troubling questions about the purge have not been answered.

So much for the anti-corruption crackdown.

In an earlier announcement the attorney general said that after the settlement phase was over, the work of the anti-corruption committee would enter a new phase, referring the detainees to the public prosecution.

This followed the release of a number of high profile businessmen over the weekend including billionaire Prince Alwaleed and the founder of Middle East broadcaster MBC, Waleed al-Ibrahim. Miteb was once seen as a leading contender for the throne, so his detention fuelled suspicion among foreign diplomats there might be political motives behind the purge.

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Retail will continue to grow at 18-20 per cent levels, while corporate segment will be up by over 10 per cent, she added. The bank's overall capital adequacy was at 17.65 per cent with the core tier-I at 14.57 per cent.

Alwaleed was among hundreds of people, including princes, tycoons and former cabinet members, who were detained in November as the authorities in Saudi Arabia embarked on what they said was a determined and overdue campaign to root out a deeply-entrenched system of graft in the kingdom.

"The appetite for big-ticket corruption among Saudi elites will certainly be a lot lower now". There are just some discussions between me and the government.

The prince is a prominent investor whose net worth is estimated at around 17 billion dollars. "For them, it's a source of risk".

The figure included the value of real estate, business, cash, shares and other assets that many of those detained had signed over during negotiations with the state. Ninety were released after having charges dropped and 95 remained in custody. Some cases will go to trial.

"The estimated value of settlements now stands at more than SR400 billion ($106 billion) represented in various types of assets, including real estate, commercial entities, securities, cash and other assets", Sheikh Saud Al Mojeb was quoted as saying by Reuters.

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