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Detained suspects face many charges

in MIDLE EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Bribery, embezzlement, money laundering and abuse of power are among the charges against dozens of princes, officials and businessmen detained in an anti-corruption probe, according to sources. The Saudi Center for International Communication (CIC), an initiative of the Ministry of Culture and Information, said that sums of money that appear to be linked to corruption cases will be reimbursed to the Saudi state’s General Treasury. A no-fly list has been drawn up and security forces in some Saudi airports were barring owners of private jets from taking off without a permit, a section of the Arabic press reported on Monday. Eleven princes, four ministers and tens of former ministers were detained late on Saturday after Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman decreed the creation of an anti-corruption committee chaired by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman. The new body has been given broad powers to investigate cases, issue arrest warrants and travel restrictions, and seize assets. The royal decree said the crackdown came in response to “exploitation by some of the weak souls who have put their own interests above the public interest, in order to, illicitly, accrue money”. On Sunday, Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al-Mojeb said in a statement, “The suspects are being granted the same rights and treatment as any other Saudi citizen. A suspect’s position or status does not influence the firm and fair application of justice”.

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