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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 20 July 2018

Saudi defence ministry official arrested on bribery charge

The move is the latest in the kingdom's crackdown on corruption

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is largely responsible for the government crackdown on corruption that began last year. Fayez Nureldine / AFP  
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is largely responsible for the government crackdown on corruption that began last year. Fayez Nureldine / AFP  

Saudi Arabia arrested a ministry of defence official for accepting a bribe of 1 million Riyal (Dh 980,000) this week marking the latest move in the kingdom's corruption crackdown, Saudi state news agency reported.

Authorities claim the bribe came from a company looking to ease procedures and “secure government pay-outs”.

The unnamed official, along with two others believed to be involved in the transaction, have been charged with bribery and abusing their position for self-benefit.

A statement published by the office of the Attorney-General, Sheikh Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Mujib, said the official had abused his official position to leverage power and betray the nation.

The arrest came more than a year after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who also serves as minister of defence, pledged to hold all accused of bribery accountable in the kingdom.

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This dispels claims the corruption crackdown in Saudi Arabia has drawn to a close after seeing more than 300 of the Kingdom’s elite rounded up last November.

Those held accountable were said to have embezzled $107 billion from government funds.

The latest arrest goes against trends of government initiatives, such as the crackdown, losing steam after an initial push.