RIYADH: Saudi King Salman has ordered specialised anti-corruption units to be established in the public prosecutor’s office, the government said on Sunday, several weeks after a sweeping anti-graft purge of the kingdom’s elite.

The move was intended to “increase effectiveness” and acc­el­erate the process of combating corruption, Attorney General Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb was quoted as saying in a statement released through the information ministry.

The statement did not offer any specific details on the operation of the units except that they will investigate and prosecute corruption cases.

The decision comes after Saudi Arabia held dozens of princes, ministers and tycoons in Riyadh’s luxury Ritz-Carlton hotel in early November, in an anti-corruption push led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Some critics labelled the campaign a shakedown and power grab, but authorities insist the purge targeted endemic corruption as the country prepares for a post-oil era.

Mojeb has previously said that $107 billion was recovered in the crackdown in various forms of assets that included property, securities and cash.

Published in Dawn, March 12th, 2018

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