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Saudi Arabia suspends accounts amid corruption probe

Staff Writer |
The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) said the bank accounts of suspects detained in an anti-corruption probe have been frozen, the country’s official SPA news agency reported.

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Last week, Saudi authorities detained 11 princes, four sitting cabinet members and a dozen former government ministers in what was described as a massive “anti-corruption” sweep.

SAMA took the step to freeze their accounts in response to a request from the attorney general, the report said, adding only the suspects’ personal bank accounts have been suspended until final court rulings and not the operations of their companies.

The arrests came hours after an “anti-corruption” committee was drawn up by Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman.

According to SPA, the committee has the authority to investigate, arrest, issue travel bans against and freeze financial accounts of individuals suspected of corruption.

“The royal decree [to establish the committee] will contribute to enhancing monitoring mechanisms, principles of governance, accountability and justice, and the safeguarding of individuals’ and companies’ rights,” the Saudi cabinet said earlier in a statement.

The decree, it added, would also serve to consolidate the government’s “reformist approach” to fighting corruption, accelerate national development and bolster the Saudi economy.

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