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Police arrest Saudi defence official over $260,000 bribe: Riyadh

Saudi policemen stand guard outside a government building in Riyadh [Getty]

Date of publication: 11 July, 2018

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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has assertively tackled corruption since launching a purported anti-corruption probe in November 2017.


A Saudi defence ministry official was arrested on suspicion of accepting over $260,000 in a bribe, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported. 

The Tuesday night report says the official was detained along with two others over the bribe, which totalled 1 million Saudi riyals.

The SPA report did not name those involved, though the statement from prosecutors described the bribery as being over a contract between the defence ministry and a commercial company. 

Attorney General Sheikh Saud bin Abdullah al-Muajab called the bribery plot a "betrayal of trust".

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince and de facto leader Mohammed bin Salman has been assertively pursuing purported corruption cases since last year. A prominent monthslong corruption probe launched in November saw the 32-year-old monarch further consolidate his power. 

On 30 January, Saudi Arabia's attorney general confirmed that 381 had been subpoenaed during the corruption probe last year, with the kingdom seizing over $100 billion in assets. Fifty-six were reportedly still in custody then, to "continue the investigaions process".

Rights groups have criticised Saudi Arabia's handling of the November corruption probe. 

"It is great that the Saudi government wants to combat corruption, but its alleged tactics look more like extortion, and make a mockery of the rule of law," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at HRW, at the time.

Agencies contributed to this report. 

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