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Saudi crown prince says no let up in fight against corruption

FILE PHOTO: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a session of the Shura Council in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia November 20, 2019. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Thursday the Gulf Arab state would continue to take “strong and painful” action against corruption after recovering billions of riyals in settlements over the past three years.

Prince Mohammed said in remarks carried on state media that authorities had recovered 247 billion riyals ($65.86 billion) in addition to assets worth tens of billions of riyals, including real estate and stocks, that have been transferred to the finance ministry and would be reflected in revenues once liquidated.

In early 2019 Saudi Arabia launched a new office to monitor state spending, saying it would help keep up the fight against corruption after closing a 15-month campaign that the royal court said then had recovered over $106 billion in settlements with scores of senior princes, ministers and top businessmen.

(This story has been refiled to correct reporting credit)

Reporting by Marwa Rashad; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle