201 de­tained in $100bn cor­rup­tion in­quiry

The Scotsman - - World News - By AYA BA­TRAWY

Saudi Ara­bian author­i­ties have de­tained 201 peo­ple as part of a probe into claims that at least $100 bil­lion (£75bn) has been mis­used through em­bez­zle­ment and cor­rup­tion.

The king­dom’s at­tor­ney gen­eral Saud al-mo­jeb said that 208 peo­ple had been called in for ques­tion­ing since Satur­day evening, and that seven peo­ple have since been re­leased without charge.

The fig­ure re­leased by the gov­ern­ment is far larger than pre­vi­ously re­ported as it ap­pears more ar­rests were made through­out the week.

Overnight on Satur­day, when the sur­prise ar­rests be­gan, 11 princes and 38 of­fi­cials and busi­ness­men had been de­tained. They are be­ing held at five-star ho­tels across the coun­try, in­clud­ing the Ritz-carl­ton in Riyadh.

Crit­ics and ob­servers say the purge that has tar­geted top princes, of­fi­cials, mil­i­tary of­fi­cers and busi­ness­men is a power grab by the crown prince, Mo­hammed bin Sal­man, in or­der to side­line po­ten­tial ri­vals and crit­ics.

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