Saudi Arabia: Elites released after paying corruption settlements

Riyadh: Waleed al-Ibrahim, the head of Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC) and Khalid al-Tuwaijiri, a former chief of the Royal Court are among those who were set free, the BBC reported on Saturday.
They amount detainees paid, have not been made public, but reports say they have paid considerable financial settlements.
More than 200 princes, politicians, and wealthy businessman charged with bribery, money laundering as well as extorting officials, were detained in the crackdown on “systematic corruption” launched by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in November.
The anti-corruption operation was prompted by Prince Mohammad bin Salman – Prince Salman was charged with using the investigation to remove opponents and consolidate his power.
Detainees were confined at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Riyadh, while many of detained are still held in the Ritz Carlton under guard until it reopens for  Valentine’s Day on 14th of February.
Media reports consider that al-Ibrahim’s deal may have involved his share in MBC – the largest media broadcasting company in the Middle East.
In the outcome of the purge, Saudi Arabia’s attorney general, Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb, and anti-corruption probe say around $100bn (£76bn) had been misused through systematic corruption and fraud going back decades. Saudi officials said, that the crackdown could return $100 billion “gained illegally” to the treasury while sending a withering message that the corrupt ways of doing business are now over.
The authority considers the probe and detentions as an attempt to recover the misused funds.
Meanwhile, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal one of the highest-profile detainees told Reuters on Saturday that he expected to be cleared for misdeed and “released from custody within days.”
Adding that the billionaire-who is one of the richest people in the country said, he expected to keep full control of his investment.

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