Manama: Saudi Arabia has reaffirmed its commitment to the rights of national and multinational companies operating in the kingdom and abroad, including those wholly or partly owned by individuals under investigation.
Chairing a meeting of the Council for Economic Affairs and Development, Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman instructed the concerned ministers to ensure that the companies are not disrupted while investigations into corruption cases were under way, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
Prince Mohammad, who is also the Chairman of the Council for Economic Affairs and Development, said on Tuesday evening that the Council recognised the importance of the companies for the national economy and the significance of ensuring that investors could operate confidently in Saudi Arabia.
The Council said that the government would ensure the fair treatment of the arrested individuals by the justice system.
Around 50 people have been reportedly arrested hours after the launch on Saturday of a new anti-corruption drive “as part of an active reform agenda aimed at tackling a persistent problem that has hindered development efforts in the Kingdom in recent decades.”
The Attorney General said that the authorities gathered ample information about graft cases as they questioned the suspects.
In its meeting, the Council said that tackling corruption within the rule of law and preventing the waste of public funds were crucial for the sustainable growth of the national economy and for the fair treatment of all Saudis.
Anti-corruption measures taken by the state were a major part of Vision 2030 and vital to ensure stability, to protect investments by domestic and international investors and to provide a level playing field, it said.
The royal order establishing the anti-corruption committee said that its formation was deemed necessary “due to the propensity of some people for abuse, putting their personal interest above public interest, and stealing public funds.”
In a statement, The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) said that the decision to suspend the bank accounts of some individuals was in response to the Attorney General’s request pending investigations in their cases.
The suspension was limited to the bank accounts, leaving corporate businesses unaffected and operational.
SAMA said that there were no restrictions on money transfers through proper banking channels. – [Gulfnews.com]