Saudi Arabia Arrests 300 More Officials in Massive ‘Corruption’ Raid
The crimes reportedly involve 379 million riyals ($101 million)
Saudi Arabia is arresting hundreds of government officials, including security personnel and military officials with crimes ranging from bribery and exploiting public office, the nation’s anti-corruption agency reported.
Saudi Arabia’s National Anti-Corruption Commission (Nazaha) has shared the announcement.
Nazaha said in a statement that investigators would bring charges against 298 people on crimes such as abuse of power, bribery, and embezzlement.
The crimes reportedly involve 379 million riyals ($101 million).
Nazaha’s announcement did not disclose names and had few details about the cases;
Saudi Arabi has not identified individuals indicted unless they are convicted to protect their privacy.
Additional reports indicate there are the defense ministry officers who are accused of bribery and money laundering relating to government contracts from 2005-2015.
29 interior ministry officials in the Eastern Province, including three colonels, a major general, and a brigadier general, are reportedly implicated
Two judges also face bribery charges.
Additionally, nine officials at AlMaarefa University in Riyadh are among the followers.
Following the ascent of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, mass raids of officials, including princes and others connected to the royal family, have become commonplace.
In 2017, a large portion of Saudi Arabia’s economic and political elite were detained in Riyadh at a luxury hotel in a crackdown on corruption.
#BREAKING: #SaudiArabia's National Anti-Corruption Commission announces investigation results https://t.co/9Lm03jiIUv pic.twitter.com/98mJMZdQvS— Arab News (@arabnews) March 15, 2020
Last year, the royal court announced the end of this crackdown, and it would launch a new campaign to curb corruption by government employees.
Last month, a new crackdown began with the reported detention of two of the royal family’s most notable members, Prince Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz, a younger brother of the king, and Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, nephew to the king and former crown prince.
Saudi officials are yet to comment on these arrests officially.
The detainment of royal family members has also fueled rumors of a possible coup attempt or the deterioration of 84-year-old King Salman’s health.
MBS has also reportedly sewn resentment within the royal family with his tightened grip on power, which the necessity for such raids indicates many claims.
Now Saudi Arabia’s elites are questioning his leadership.
In 2019, five royal sources, a senior foreign diplomat and business leaders told Reuters anonymously that Saudi Royal family members were increasingly frustrated over MBS’s leadership.
One of the sources stated:
“There is a lot of resentment. How were they not able to detect the attack?”