Saudi authorities have arrested a ministry of defence official for accepting a bribe of one million riyals ($266,584) this week, UAE government backed newspaper the National reported. The arrest is said to be the latest in the Kingdom’s drive to crackdown on corruption.
Authorities claim the bribe came from a company looking to ease procedures and “secure government pay-outs”. The unnamed official, along with two others, are believed to be involved in the transaction, have been charged with bribery and abusing their position for self-benefit, the UAE source said.
A statement published by the office of the Attorney-General, Sheikh Saud Bin Abdulaziz Al Mujib, said the official had abused his position to leverage power and betray the nation.
The arrest was made by the newly constituted prosecution departments in the Attorney General’s office. King Salman ordered the establishment of a specialised department to investigate and prosecute corruption cases last year.
Saudi authorities detained hundreds of top businessmen and royals and held them for several months at the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton Hotel in a sweeping “anti-corruption” probe.
Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman is reported to have raised $106 billion from the purge after negotiating a deal with the detainees for their release. The young prince was accused of using the purge as a cover to weaken his opposition and extract money to fill gaps in the country’s treasury.
This arrest may go some way to dispel the claim that the corruption crackdown in Saudi Arabia was politically motivated and had drawn to a close.