Saudi Arabia launches new ‘anti-corruption office’

7 Feb 19

Saudi Arabia has set up a new office to monitor public spending, despite ending its official crackdown on corruption.

Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman announced last week that the crackdown, which he launched in November 2017, had achieved its objectives.

However, state news agency SPA reported on Monday that a new financial reporting office would be part of the General Auditing Bureau, which looks for financial discrepancies.

Public prosecutor Saud al-Mojeb said public prosecutors would handle investigations and could take legal action if deemed appropriate.

Hossam Al-Anqari, head of the bureau, said government agencies are working together to improve services and the quality of their work.

The royal court said the recently concluded clampdown on corruption had recovered more than $106bn through settlements with senior princes, ministers and businessmen.

The crackdown lasted 15 months, during which hundreds of people, including public sector employees and politicians, were held at a luxury hotel amid investigations. Many were detained for weeks but released after agreeing financial settlements.

Eight people have had their cases referred to the public prosecutor after they refused to reach settlements.

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