Several prominent businessmen in Saudi Arabia have reached settlements in the kingdom’s largest corruption crackdown till date.
They include Waleed al-Ibrahim, owner of regional television network MBC; Fawaz Alhokair, a major shareholder in fashion retailer Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Co; Khalid al-Tuwaijri, a former chief of the Royal Court; and Turki bin Nasser, a former head of the country`s meteorology and environmental protection agency.
In the aftermath of the purge, Saudi Arabia`s Attorney General said at least $100bn (£76bn) had been misused through systemic corruption and embezzlement going back decades. The terms of the settlements and the sums of the money have not been disclosed.
Earlier in November, different news media reported that the princes had to pay at least 30% of their assets to get a green light. The Attorney General said authorities were still holding 95 people in the drive, while 90 detainees had been released after having charges dropped and others had traded cash, real estate and other assets for their freedom. Some suspects will face trial if they do not settle.
In late November, senior Saudi Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, once seen as a leading contender to the throne, was freed after reaching a settlement with authorities that involved paying more than $1 billion, according to a Saudi official. More than 200 princes, politicians, and wealthy businessmen were detained in the crackdown. Since then, they have been held in the Ritz Carlton hotel in Riyadh, which is due to reopen on 14 February.