Saudi authorities have announced that they will freeze the bank accounts of the 11 suspects detained in the kingdom on corruption charges, Al Arabiya reported on Monday.

According to the Saudi-owned media network, the Saudi Center for International Communication — 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.

Al Arabiya quoted officials as saying that there would be "no preferential treatment" in the handling of their cases.

A new anti-corruption commission, headed by powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was established by royal decree late Saturday after which reports surfaced that 11 princes, including a prominent billionaire, and dozens of current and former ministers had been arrested.

The official statement announcing the commission said: "In view of what we have noticed of exploitation by some of the weak souls who have put their own interests above the public interest, in order to, illicitly, accrue money [...] we assumed the responsibility to follow these matters out of our pledges towards the homeland and the citizen."

The committee will "identify offenses, crimes, persons and entities involved in cases of public corruption," conduct investigation and issue "arrest warrants, travel ban, disclosure and freezing of accounts and portfolios, tracking of funds, assets and preventing their remittance or transfer by persons and entities".

The statement adds: "It may take whatever measures deemed necessary to deal with those involved in public corruption cases and take what it considers to be the right of persons, entities, funds, fixed and movable assets, at home and abroad, return funds to the state treasury and register property and assets in the name of state property."

“Laws will be applied firmly on everyone who touched public money and didn’t protect it or embezzled it, or abused their power and influence,” King Salman said in comments shown on state TV, reported Gulf News. “This will be applied on those big and small, and we will fear no one.”

New ministers sworn in

Later on Monday, King Salman swore in new officials to take over from a powerful prince and former minister who were detained in the large-scale corruption sweep that has shocked the country and upended longstanding traditions within the ruling family.

The official Saudi Press Agency released images of the king swearing in new National Guard chief Prince Khalid bin Ayyaf al-Muqrin and new Economy and Planning Minister Mohammad al-Tuwaijri.

Prince Khalid replaced Prince Miteb, son of the late King Abdullah, as head of the elite internal security force. Prince Miteb was once considered a contender for the throne, though he has not been thought of recently as a challenger to Prince Mohammed. Adel Fakeih had served as minister of economy since April.

While the Saudi government hasn't officially disclosed the names of the those detained, sources have confirmed that billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal is among those arrested.

Alwalid al-Ibrahim, a Saudi businessman with ties to the royal family who runs the Arabic satellite group MBC, is also said to be among the detained.

Opinion

Editorial

Population calamity
Updated 22 Jul, 2024

Population calamity

Pakistan can also control its growth rate by following the examples of its peers and implementing functional family planning programmes and campaigns.
Blow to occupation
22 Jul, 2024

Blow to occupation

THE International Court of Justice has delivered a legal blow to the decades-old Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
Seeking Priya Kumari
22 Jul, 2024

Seeking Priya Kumari

PRIYA Kumari — the minor girl who vanished on Ashura in 2021 while serving water at a sabeel in Sukkur district ...
Olympics contingent
21 Jul, 2024

Olympics contingent

FROM 10 in Tokyo the last time, it is now down to seven in Paris, and split across just three disciplines. When...
Grave concerns
21 Jul, 2024

Grave concerns

PUNJAB Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz’s open assault on the Supreme Court for ruling in favour of the PTI in the...
Civil unrest
Updated 21 Jul, 2024

Civil unrest

The government must start putting out fires instead of fanning more flames.