Saudi Arabia: Most detainees ready to pay to stay corruption charges

The majority of the Saudi princes and officials detained found in a corruption crackdown last month are ready to hand over cash and property in exchange for charges being dropped, based on the government.

Saudi Arabia’s attorney basic, Sheikh Saud Al-Mujib, said in a statement overdue Tuesday that he likely to conclude settlements with almost all of the detainees — who include billionaire businessman and global investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal — within a couple weeks.

“The required arrangements are being finalized to conclude such agreements,” Sheikh Al-Mujib said.

Saudi authorities arrested dozens of royals, businessmen and senior government officials on November 4. Those detained included the past mind of the royal court Khaled Al-Tuwaijri, and Saudi press mogul Waleed Al-Ibrahim.

The investigation is being overseen by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was simply appointed as head of a new anti-corruption committee just time prior to the arrests began.

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More than 200 persons were being questioned at one stage, and there are still 159 in detention, based on the statement. Among those released was son of the overdue King Abdullah, Prince Miteb, after an undisclosed economical settlement was agreed.

Lots of the detainees are being held at Riyadh’s 5-star Ritz Carlton, which includes been out of bounds to other guests because the crackdown started. The hotel is “completely booked” until February 13, 2018.

Sheikh Al Mujib said the Saudi central lender has frozen the personal accounts of 376 persons from the investigation “as a precautionary measure.”

Authorities are negotiating with detainees, “supplying them a settlement that may facilitate recouping the state’s funds and property, and eliminate the need for prolonged litigation,” he added.

If a settlement is not reached, then those facing the allegations will be referred to state prosecutors.

Saudi estimates that corruption has cost the kingdom at least $100 billion over decades.

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