Saudi Arabia’s government has arranged to seize more than $100 billion through financial settlements with businessmen and officials detained in its crackdown on corruption, the attorney general said on Tuesday.
Billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, owner of global investor Kingdom Holding, and Waleed al-Ibrahim, who controls influential regional broadcaster MBC, were freed last weekend.
“The estimated value of settlements currently stands at more than 400 billion riyals ($106 billion) represented in various types of assets, including real estate, commercial entities, securities, cash and other assets,” Sheikh Saud Al Mojeb said in a statement.
Meanwhile, 56 people still remain in custody, with investigations still ongoing — and for some, that includes accusations of additional crimes outside of corruption.
In November, Saudi Arabia launched a fight against corruption where princes, politicians and businessmen were rounded up, arrested and confined at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in the capital, Riyadh. As many as 500 people were imprisoned in the luxury hotel.
“Prince Mohammed bin Salman is moving toward a one-man state and toward totalitarianism in Saudi Arabia,” said Günter Meyer, the director of the Center for Research on the Arab World at the University of Mainz.