Saudi Arabia Arrests Over 200 in Latest Corruption Crackdown

Saudi Arabia’s Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) on Monday announced that 207 individuals, including government employees, have been arrested for their involvement in bribery, abuse of office and power, and forgery.

Among those detained are employees of a number of government institutions, including the Defense, Interior, Health, Justice and Education ministries, the statement said, adding that the arrests were accompanied by investigations into 461 individuals accused of criminal and administrative offences.

“Legal proceedings are currently being completed against the detainees in preparation for their referral to court,” Nazaha said.

But Human Rights Watch has previously expressed concerns at such arrests, and called on Saudi authorities to “reveal the legal and evidentiary basis for each person’s detention,” and ensure that those arrested can “exercise their due process rights.”

Since his succession to crown prince in 2017, Mohammad bin Salman has directed a number of mass anti-corruption arrests, starting with the three-month detainment of over 300 individuals in the luxury Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh late that year.

The probe recovered over US$100 billion, and resulted in the arrest of 56 members of the royal family.


By Lara Dihmis, August 11, 2021, published on OCCRP

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