Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman has alleged that the Saudi elite amassed 800 billion dollars through unfair means. Photograph: (Reuters)
The anti-corruption drive was so urgent because the economy of one of the world's biggest oil producers was running a budget deficit of 185 billion dollars
Let's try to understand the Saudi graft purge in numbers. The target was 800 billion dollars. That's right!, that's the kind of money that the Saudi elite amassed through unfair means according to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Why was this anti-corruption drive so urgent? Because the economy of one of the world's biggest oil producers was running a budget deficit of 185 billion dollars. Sure enough, the crown prince blamed this gap on corruption.
So much money has been made? Understandably, there's no official word on it but most reports estimate a haul of more than 100 billion dollars.
Almost 2000 bank accounts of princes, top bureaucrats and businessmen have been frozen to prevent the individuals under scrutiny from transferring their funds offshore.
The government is also eyeing their assets. Anti-corruption officials say that assets worth almost 300-400 billion dollars have been created through corrupt means.