Saudi Arabia Plans to help Citizens with $50bn Recouped From Fraud Proceeds – Finance Minister

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– Saudi Arabia Finance Minister al-Jadaan says the help package for citizens is covered in the kingdom’s budget for 2018

– al-Jadaan notes that the crackdown on corruption in the nation both top government officials and the royal family

– He says that Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince is agitating for an overhauling of Saudi Arabia’s economy Cash settlements obtained from people detained in Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on corruption will help to finance a 50 billion riyal (13.3 billion dollars) package for citizens to cope with the rising cost of living.

The finance minister Mohammed al-Jadaan said this on Wednesday, January 24. Al-Jadaan, while speaking to Al Arabiya television at the World Economic forum in Davos said the package was announced by King Salman early in January, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports

Jadaan said the package would also be financed by money from the state budget. NAN reports that the Saudi government anti-corruption campaign began in 2017. The kingdom’s attorney-general, Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb, said in a statement that Saudi authorities believed that at least 100 billion dollars had been mismanaged through systematic corruption and embezzlement for many years. The crackdown has swept up more than 200 people, including senior government officials, prominent businessmen and members of the ruling family.

The investigation is being led by a newly established anti-corruption agency headed by the kingdom’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who is pushing to overhaul Saudi Arabia’s oil-dependent economy as well as its conservative society.

The detainees, who face accusations that range from procurement fraud to money laundering and bribery, were given the option by Saudi authorities of relinquishing part of their wealth in exchange for freedom rather than going to court. The government already freed in the past month several of those arrested after they agreed to surrender a part of their assets. This also included Prince Miteb Abdullah, the most politically influential royal detained in the campaign who was once seen as a leading contender to the throne, after he agreed to pay over $1 billion to settle corruption allegations against him.

The anti-graft campaign has largely been welcomed in Saudi Arabia, where many people are angry at what they see as rampant corruption among the wealthy. This, according to report, has helped to improve Prince Mohammed’s popular image as a champion of fairness, though some analysts and observers outside the kingdom see the crackdown as part of a centralization of power in the hands of the young crown prince. He became next in line to the throne this summer.

Adamu Hassan Abdullahi, spokesman of the commission, stated that while 75,000 slots would be for the state pilgrim’s welfare boards. The remaining 20,000 were kept for private tour companies.

Culled out from : Naij.com

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