The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Anti-Corruption Proceeding's Status
His Excellency Saud Al Mojeb, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Attorney General and member of the Supreme Anti-Corruption Committee, a body formed by Royal Order on November 4, issued the following statement on Thursday, November 9th related to the status of the anti-corruption proceedings, which are moving forward rapidly:
- So far, a total of 208 individuals have been called in for questioning.
- Within this group of 208 individuals, seven have been released without charge.
- The potential scale of corrupt practices, which has been uncovered, is substantial. An on-going 3-year investigation revealed that, at minimum, an estimated $100 billion USD has been misused by way of systematic corruption and embezzlement over several decades. There is strong evidence that confirms initial suspicions, which led Saudi Arabian authorities to initiate a deeper investigation with the suspects.
Given the magnitude of the allegations, Saudi Arabian authorities, under the Royal Order directive, has a clear, legal mandate to move to the next phase of the investigations and suspend personal bank accounts.
To this end, on Tuesday November 7, the Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, (SAMA [the equivalent of the Central Bank]), agreed to the request to suspend the personal bank accounts, not the business accounts, of the persons of interests in the investigation.
There has been a great deal of speculation around the world regarding the identities of the concerned individuals, as well as, the details around charges brought against them. In order to ensure that the individuals continue to be afforded the full legal rights granted to them under Saudi law, we will not be revealing any more personal details at this time. We ask that their privacy is respected while they continue to go through the judicial process.
It is worth reiterating, as many Saudi authorities have already done, that normal commercial activity in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not affected by these investigations. Only personal bank accounts have been suspended. Companies and banks are free to continue with transactions in line with business as usual.
In closing, the Government of Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, is working within a clear legal and institutional framework in order to maintain transparency and integrity in the market.