Over 200 held in Saudi anti-corruption purge

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Riyadh

Saudi Arabia announced the arrest of 207 employees across about a dozen government ministries in the latest sweep by an anti-corruption body empowered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Those detained were not named and it was unclear when the arrests were made. The Kingdom’s National Anti-Corruption Commission, known as “Nazaha”, announced the arrests late on Monday.

The crown prince’s anti-corruption purge began in late 2017. It has helped him consolidate power and netted the Kingdom $106 billion in assets.

Saudi nationals have long complained of rampant corruption in government and of public funds being squandered or misused by those in power.

The commission said more than 460 people were investigated in this latest round, and that as a result, 207 Saudi citizens and residents were detained on allegations of corruption, abuse of authority and fraud.

Those accused will be referred to prosecution, the commission said. They hail from the national guard and a range of ministries, including defence, interior, health and justice, among others.

In April, the commission said 176 people from across the public sector had similarly been detained for alleged corruption.—AP

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