Speed Reads


Saudi Arabia's political purge has been extraordinarily lucrative

The government of Saudi Arabia has profited generously from an anti-corruption effort it began last year, The Associated Press reports. Saudi Arabia's attorney general announced Tuesday that the country is set to earn more than $100 billion in financial settlements arranged with the scores of government figures, including princes, who have been arrested since November, AP reports.

In a statement, the attorney general said the value from those settlements comprised "various types of assets." AP said the gains were made up of "real estate assets, commercial entities, securities, and cash."

Of the 381 people arrested in the government crackdown, one of the most notable was Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who is reportedly worth more than $18 billion. His arrest was widely seen as proof that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was willing to make high-profile detentions in his quest to consolidate power. Prince Alwaleed was released last week and has maintained his innocence, CNN reports.

The roughly $100 billion in seized assets, Reuters notes, happens to cover nearly twice the amount of the Saudi government's budget deficits. Last week, CNN Money reported that the Saudi government intended to use the money procured in their anti-corruption efforts "to fund handouts for the 70 percent of Saudi nationals who are state employees."