Saudi crown prince claims corruption clampdown 'balances books'

Saudi crown prince claims corruption clampdown 'balances books'
Saudi Arabia's influential Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has claimed an anti-corruption drive in the country will benefit the country's budget.
2 min read
28 February, 2018
Crown Prince Mohammed has launched a clampdown on lead officials [Getty]

Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has claimed the country's notorious anti-corruption drive is the "shock therapy" for rampant corruption and will benefit the kingdom's coffers.

"You have a body that has cancer everywhere, the cancer of corruption. You need to have chemo, the shock of chemo, or the cancer will eat the body," Bin Salman told the Washington Post Tuesday.

"The kingdom couldn't meet budget targets without halting this looting," he said.

It follows a massive shake-up of the military's top brass, as well as the heads of the ground forces and air defence.

Other parts of the government have also been overhauled. 

Prince Salman said the new generation - or "high energy" - senior officials replacing the old order will help Saudi Arabia achieve the crown prince's modernisation targets.

"We want to work with believers," the crown prince told the US paper.

The changing of the military guard came just a month shy of the third anniversary of the launch of a Saudi-led intervention against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Mohammed bin Salman has introduced a raft of economic and social reforms to modernise the country, but many economists have warned that many measures could undermine confidence.

Saudi Arabia has not managed to succeed in Yemen while the anti-corruption drive has been perceived as a way of bin Salman consolidating power.