Saudi anti-corruption authorities arrest 28 in connection with two cases

The authorities confiscated about 400 hundred million riyals as investigations continue

The Kingdom Tower, operated by Kingdom Holding Co., left, stands alongside the King Fahd highway, illuminated by the light trails of passing traffic, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016. Saudi Arabian stocks led Gulf Arab markets lower after oil extended its slump from the lowest close since 2004. Photographer: Waseem Obaidi/Bloomberg

Three Saudi Royal Guard officers and 21 Saudi businessmen were among 28 people arrested in connection with two corruption cases, the country's anti-corruption commission  said on Wednesday.

In the first case a retired major general, a colonel and a lieutenant colonel, who previously worked in the contracts and procurement department, were arrested in connection with  tenders awarded to companies belonging to them and their acquaintances.

The three officers were detained along with 21 Saudi businessmen and a non-Saudi Arab resident, said the National Anti-Corruption Commission.

The authorities confiscated about 400 million riyals ($106.5m) as investigations continue.

In a separate case, an employee of the Royal Court who previously worked in the Lands and Grants Department, was arrested, along with two other Saudi citizens.

This was in connection with the sale of 79 royal grants to citizens, in return for large sums of cash through intermediaries, said the commission.

The commission warned it will apply the laws with “zero tolerance” and will “pursue anyone who exploits his public office to achieve personal gains or harm public interests".