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Saudi Arabia striking deals with people detained in anti-graft purge-sources
November 17, 2017 / 9:03 AM / a month ago

Saudi Arabia striking deals with people detained in anti-graft purge-sources

Nov 17 (Reuters) - Saudi authorities are striking agreements with some of those detained in an anti-corruption crackdown, asking them to hand over assets and cash in return for their freedom, sources familiar with the matter said.

The deals involve separating cash from assets like property and shares, and looking at bank accounts to assess cash values, one of the sources told Reuters.

One businessman had tens of millions of Saudi riyals withdrawn from his account after he signed. In another case, a former senior official consented to hand over ownership of four billion riyals worth of shares, the source said.

The Saudi government earlier this week moved from freezing accounts to issuing instructions for “expropriation of unencumbered assets” or seizure of assets, said a second source familiar with the situation.

There was no immediate comment from the Saudi government on the deals.

Dozens of princes, senior officials and businessmen, including cabinet ministers and billionaires, have been detained in the inquiry at least partly aimed at strengthening the power of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Reporting by Samia Nakhoul, Katie Paul, Yara Bayoumy and Tom Arnold; Writing by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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