Manama: Seven of the 208 people arrested on corruption charges have been freed for lack of sufficient evidence, Saudi Arabia’s Attorney General has said.

It was the first time that a Saudi official mentioned the number of the people who have been detained since the launch of a massive anti-graft drive on Saturday following the formation of a specialised committee headed by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud.

“The financial value of these decades-long practices and misappropriated and unused public funds, may exceed $ 100 billion, according to preliminary investigations,” Shaikh Saud Al Mojeb said in a statement late on Thursday.

However, the Attorney General said that despite the speculations worldwide about the identity of the suspects and the nature of the charges levelled against them, the Saudi authorities will not reveal any personal details at this stage to ensure that their legal rights are not breached in any way and preserved as stipulated by the Saudi laws.

“We call for the respect of their privacy as they go through the legal process,” he said.

Al Mojed added that business activities were proceeding normally in the Saudi kingdom and that they would not be affected by the investigations.

“Only personal bank accounts have been suspended and companies and banks have the freedom to continue transactions and transfers as usual as the official authorities in the Kingdom had pointed out and reiterated,” he said.

“The work of the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, is within a clear legal and institutional framework that maintains transparency and integrity in the Saudi market.”