x

Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Prominent businessmen reach settlements in Saudi corruption probe 

Hundreds of Saudi royals and officials were caught up in the corruption probe which saw Riyadh's Ritz-Carlton hotel turned into a makeshift prison

The lobby of the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh where many high-profile suspects detained in an anti-corruption sweep have been held since early November 2017. Giuseppe Cacace / AFP
The lobby of the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh where many high-profile suspects detained in an anti-corruption sweep have been held since early November 2017. Giuseppe Cacace / AFP

Several prominent businessmen have reached financial settlements with Saudi Arabian authorities in the kingdom's sweeping crackdown on corruption, an official source told Reuters on Friday.

They include Waleed Al Ibrahim, owner of regional television network MBC; Fawaz Al hokair, a major shareholder in fashion retailer Fawaz Abdulaziz Al Hokair Co; Khalid Al Tuwaijri, a former chief of the Royal Court; and Turki bin Nasser, a former head of the country's meteorology and environmental protection agency, the source said.

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity under briefing rules, did not reveal the terms of the settlements. The men could not immediately be reached for comment.

More than 200 people have been questioned during investigations into corruption cases, and more than 2,000 bank accounts frozen.

__________

Read more

Saudi Arabia releases 23 corruption detainees

Saudi Arabia's anti-corruption investigation to end 'in days'

__________

Although some suspects will go on trial, the authorities in Saudi Arabia are seeking to reach financial settlement with most of them, whereby those who do not contest the charges pay back a portion of the assets that were illegally acquired.

Saudi Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, who was seen as a leading contender for the throne, was freed after reportedly agreeing to pay more than $1 billion (Dh3.67bn).