A new anti-corruption commission in Saudi Arabia arrested at least 11 princes and dozens of senior officials and prominent businessmen, government-owned Al Arabiya news channel reported on Saturday.
King Salman earlier on Saturday ordered the establishment of the commission and named his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to lead it, with a vow to protecting public money and taking measures against individuals and entities accused of corruption.
Al Arabiya did not offer details on the identities of the princes and officials who were arrested.
However, the kingdom’s top religious body came out in support of the crackdown, saying fighting corruption “as important as fighting terrorism”, according to a statement posted on Twitter.
Prince Mohammed, who has been leading an ambitious economic reform program to decrease his country’s dependence on oil, said in a television interview earlier this year that corrupt officials would be held accountable.
“No one who got involved in a corruption case will escape, regardless if he was a minister or a prince,” he said.