Saudi authorities arrested at least 45 people, including military officers and public servants, as part of kingdom’s so-called anti-corruption drive.
An anti-corruption body known as Nazaha said in a statement on Thursday that it had begun almost 900 investigations for criminal and disciplinary cases, including probes into “suspicion over corruption, profiteering and influence peddling of public posts”.
Those arrested included four army officers and five Defence Ministry contractors over suspicion of profiteering in a project.
Another 14 people, including two police officers, were detained over alleged embezzlement and bribery. Some were workers in the country’s ministries of justice, transport, and human resources.
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Authorities also seized funds and real estate assets worth $160m, the statement said.
Previous waves of detention have been widely condemned by critics and rights groups that accuse Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) of utilising anti-corruption sentiments to purge potential rivals to the crown or anyone deemed a threat to his rule.
Scores of the kingdom’s economic and political elite were detained in 2017 at Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel in a crackdown that unsettled some foreign investors.
The royal court said last year it was winding down that campaign after 15 months, but authorities later said they would start going after graft by ordinary government employees.
Still, in a bid to shore up his rule, MBS has levelled corruption and disloyalty charges against several of his rivals in recent