Probe finds $100bn embezzled in Saudi Arabia

Those caught up in the anti-corruption drive are reportedly being held at Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton. (Reuters)

ESAT News (November 9, 2017)

Saudi Arabia’s attorney general says at least $100bn has been embezzled through systemic corruption and embezzlement in recent decades.

The BBC report quoted Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb, the attorney general as saying that 199 people were being held for questioning as part of a sweeping anti-corruption drive that began on Saturday night.

The attorney general did not name any of the suspects but earlier media reports said they include senior princes, ministers and businessmen. He also said they will not release personal details of the suspects to protect their legal rights.

“The evidence for this wrongdoing is very strong,” the BBC quoted Sheikh Mojeb as saying.

He also said only personal bank accounts had been frozen.

He announced that 208 individuals had been called in for questioning so far, and that seven of them had been released without charge.

Among the detained at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Riyadh is Ethiopian born Saudi Billionaire, Mohammed Hussein al Amoudi, whose worth is 10.3 billion dollars. Speaking from London, the spokesperson for the Sheikh said yesterday that the overseas businesses owned by the Sheik remain unaffected by the investigation into alleged embezzlement.

Many in Ethiopia were wondering what will happen to the Sheik’s hundreds of millions of dollars businesses in mining, agriculture and construction that stretch across the country.

Al Amoudi is favored by the TPLF oligarchy and has bought a number of government enterprises. He has vast agricultural land and is a major gold miner in Ethiopia.