Saudi anti-corruption purge: Most detained agree to cash settlements

Riyadh, Dec 6: Most of those detained in a sweeping anti-corruption purge of the Saudi elite have struck monetary settlements in exchange for their freedom, the attorney general said Tuesday, a month after they were locked up in a 5-star hotel. Dozens of high-profile figures including princes, ministers and tycoons are being held in Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel, now a makeshift luxury prison, in the biggest sweep of the kingdom’s elite in its recent history.
Some 320 people were called in for questioning and 159 people are currently being detained, many of whom have agreed to a “settlement”, or handing over allegedly ill-gotten gains to the Saudi state treasury, attorney general Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb said.
“The necessary arrangements are being finalised to conclude such agreements,” Mojeb said in a statement.
The attorney general has previously said he estimates at least $100 billion has been lost in embezzlement or corruption over several decades.
His latest statement comes after Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, the former National Guard chief once seen as a contender to the throne, was released last week following a settlement reportedly exceeding $1 billion. Agencies