Saudi Arabia arrests more than 200 state employees in 'anti-corruption' sweep

Saudi Arabia arrests more than 200 state employees in 'anti-corruption' sweep
The individuals detained worked across several government ministries, the kingdom's Nazaha anti-corruption commission said. 
1 min read
10 August, 2021
The arrests followed investigations into more than 400 people [Getty/ Archive]

Saudi authorities on Monday announced the arrests of 207 government employees in the kingdom's latest anti-corruption sweep.

The individuals detained worked at several government ministries, the Nazaha anti-corruption commission said, saying it came after investigations were conducted into more than 460 people.

Nazaha gave no details of the detainees' names or when they were arrested but said they faced charges including corruption, abuse of authority, and fraud.

Saudi Arabia has carried out a number of anti-corruption sweeps under the authority of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman since late 2017. While Saudi citizens have long complained of corruption, critics have accused the prince of using anti-corruption powers to target rivals and consolidate power.

In late 2017, more than 300 individuals, including prominent princes businessmen and public figures, were arrested and held in an unprecedented anti-corruption purge. Several key personalities netted in the operation, including billionaire philanthropist Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and construction magnate Bakr bin Laden, were held incommunicado at Riyadh's Ritz-Carlton hotel for weeks.

The detentions ended after hefty financial settlements were reportedly agreed with the state.