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Saudi Arabia arrests defense official on bribery charges

Bribery was over a contract between the Defence Ministry and a commercial company

Dubai: Authorities in Saudi Arabia say a Defense Ministry official has been arrested on suspicion of accepting over $260,000 in a bribe.

A report Tuesday night by the state-run Saudi Press Agency says the official and two others have been arrested over the bribe, which was worth 1 million Saudi riyals.

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

The report quoted Attorney General Shaikh Saud bin Abdullah Al Muajab calling the bribery plot a “betrayal of trust.”

Saudi Arabia under its assertive Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman has been pursuing corruption cases.

Prince Mohamamd launched an anti-corruption drive in November, rounding up hundreds of suspects including some of the country’s richest individuals and government ministers.

Billionaire Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal was among those detailed at the 492-room Ritz-Carlton, as was former Finance Minister Ebrahim Al Assaf and Adel Al Fakih, who was removed as minister of economy and planning on the eve of the arrests.

Saudi Arabia’s anti-corruption campaign has netted more than $106 billion (Dh389 billion, 400 billion riyal) in financial settlements.

In April, the kingdom’s attorney general declared the campaign against corruption a sweeping success.

“The campaign against graft will remain as long as there is corruption, even in minor issues,” Saud Al Mojeb said at the time.

Al Mojeb also said that the settlement represented various types of assets including real estate, commercial entities, securities, cash and other assets.

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