After dozens were arrested over corruption allegations in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, authorities are now expected to decide on measures against those arrested and on the fate of their frozen assets. If corruption allegations are confirmed, those measures will be decided by the Saudi prosecutor general.

“If it is established that land or property was stolen from the government they will be returned under public ownership. Possession rights in each case have to be proved by documents,” Muhammed Shams, an economic consultant and former adviser to the Saudi industrial minister, told Sputnik Arabic.

Shams underscored that each defendant has the right to be assisted by an attorney and can also use all legal opportunities to defend themselves.

“Those arrests were not accidental. They had been prepared by an investigation. King Salman just made it clear,” he said.

Over 40 members of the Royal family, including billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, ministers, military officials and businessmen, were arrested in Saudi Arabia on Sunday by decree of the kingdom’s newly-established anti-corruption committee headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

READ MORE: Saudi Anti-Graft Campaign a Cover For Political Power Games — Politician

Shams said that the anti-corruption investigation in Saudi Arabia was launched a month ago. Numerous suspects had been questioned until the first facts of corruption, bribery and money laundering were established.

“Crown Prince Prince Mohammed bin Salman has repeatedly mentioned the investigation in media and vowed to wipe out corruption at all levels, despite the social status and background of those involved,” Shams added.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported citing sources familiar with the situation that Saudi Arabian authorities have made additional arrests as part of the anti-corruption campaign. Some suspects were detained while others are being telephoned by investigators about their finances.

Banking sources also said that the number of domestic bank accounts frozen as a result of the crackdown has already reached over 1,700.

Oil Price Expected to Remain Steady Despite Shock Arrests in Saudi Arabia



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The market for oil, Saudi Arabia’s most lucrative export, is unlikely to be affected by the arrest of dozens of former Saudi state officials and at least 11 Saudi princes in an anti-corruption drive, financial analysts have said.

On Sunday, it was reported that 11 Saudi princes, four incumbent ministers of the Saudi government and dozens of former government ministers had been arrested in an anti-corruption drive.

Reportedly among those arrested is prominent billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, owner of the Kingdom Holding Company which has large stakes in businesses and property around the world including Citigroup, Twitter and several luxury hotel chains.

The arrests took place just hours after Saudi ruler King Salman decreed the creation of a powerful new anticorruption committee led by his son and heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. King Salman also fired several high-profile ministers.

The new agency will “preserve public money, punish corrupt people and those who exploit their positions,” the Saudi Press Agency said.

This file photo taken on May 11, 2017 shows Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal speaking during a press conference in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. Shares of arrested Saudi billionaire Prince Al-Waleed's Kingdom Holding slide 9.9% on November 5, 2017
© AFP 2017/ Amer HILABI

While the sweeping crackdown spread panic through the Saudi establishment, the market for oil, Saudi Arabia’s biggest export, is unlikely to be affected, analyst Aleksey Korenev of Russian investment brokerage Finam told RIA Novosti.

“Decisions to reduce oil production or military-political tensions between the Saudis and neighboring countries have the most influence on the financial markets and the oil market. It happens periodically: either they can’t come to an agreement with Iraqi or with Syria,” Korenev said.

Alexander Razuvaev, director of the analytical department at currency brokerage Alpari, said that any reaction to the news by the oil market or financial markets would be short-lived, given that Saudi Arabia is unlikely to withdraw support for agreements between OPEC and other oil producers which reduced production and raised prices.

“There isn’t likely to be any real reaction on the world markets, all that might happen is some small volatility on the local stock market.” The indexes might drop, but this will only be a short-term event,” Razuvaev said.

In late October, the price of the industry standard Brent crude moved above $60 per barrel for the first time in more than two years. On Friday, the price increased to $62.07, recouping a loss earlier in the week to finish 2.7% higher than the previous week.