Saudi Arabia makes further anti-graft arrests: sources
Saudi Arabian authorities have made further arrests in an anti-corruption crackdown on the kingdom’s political and business elite, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, APA reported citing Reuters.
Dozens of royal family members, officials and business executives have already been held in the purge announced on Saturday and face allegations of money laundering, bribery, extortion and exploiting public office for personal gain.
But the sources, speaking on Wednesday, said a number of additional individuals suspected of wrongdoing have been detained in a continuation of the crackdown.
A number of those held most recently include individuals with links to the immediate family of the late Crown Prince and Defence Minister Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz who died in 2011, the sources said.
Others appear to be lower-level managers and officials, one of the sources said.
Many Saudis have cheered the purge as an attack on the theft of state funds by the rich, and U.S. President Donald Trump said those arrested had been “‘milking’ their country for years”.
But some Western officials expressed unease at the possible reaction in the opaque tribal and royal politics of the world’s largest oil exporter.
Saudi Arabia’s stock market continued to fall in early trade on Wednesday because of concern about the economic impact of its anti-corruption purge. The Saudi index .TASI was 1.0 percent lower after half an hour of trade. Shares in companies linked to people detained in the investigation slid further.
Late on Tuesday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi central bank sought to ease worries about the probe.
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