Saudi king calls for anti-corruption units five months into purge

Saudi king calls for anti-corruption units five months into purge

Companies operating or planning to invest in Saudi Arabia face a high risk of corruption, claims a report by GAN Integrity, an agency that identifies corruption in business. Even wives and children have been forbidden to travel.

At least 17 Saudi detainees were subjected to physical abuse during what was termed an anti-corruption campaign that saw the arrest of hundreds of prominent businessmen and princes in November, the New York Times has found. One person who saw the corpse of the officer, Maj.

Most of those detained were released after several months. Most detainees have been released but witnesses say they are not really free, living in fear and uncertainty.

"A doctor and two other people briefed on the condition of the body said that it had burn marks that appeared to be from electric shocks", the newspaper said.

The former detainees were quoted by the newspaper as saying that numerous released are being forced to wear tracking devices on their ankles.

But he was a top aide to Prince Turki bin Abdullah, a son of the late King Abdullah and a former governor of Riyadh, and the interrogators may have been pressing the general for information about his boss, Prince Turki.

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The Saudi government categorically denied the allegations of abuse and oppression made in the New York Times article, insisting that stern measures were needed to reform the Saudi system and the public supports both the anti-corruption campaign and Crown Prince Mohammed's ambitious reform agenda.

Saudi Arabia's king has established special anti-corruption units of prosecutors to pursue embezzlement cases in the kingdom after a recent crackdown.

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who recently was released after almost three months in detention as part of a so-called anti-corruption purge, reportedly does not have the permission to travel outside of the kingdom.

In the emailed response to questions about Gen. Qahtani, an official of the Saudi Embassy in Washington said, "All allegations of abuse and torture of those investigated during the anti-corruption proceedings are absolutely untrue".

Based on the assumption that another US$100 billion would be added through an Aramco initial public offering, the kingdom's weighting would rise to about four per cent, which would be bigger than Russia's weighting of 3.4 per cent, for example.

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