(London Independent) Wealthy Saudis are moving assets out of the region to avoid the risk of getting caught up in what authorities call a crackdown on corruption, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Some Saudi billionaires and millionaires are selling investments in neighbouring Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and turning them into cash or liquid holdings overseas, the people said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. In Saudi Arabia, some are in talks with banks and asset managers to move money outside the country, the people said.

Based on investigations over the past three years, authorities estimate that at least $100 billion has been misused “through systematic corruption and embezzlement over several decades,” Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al Mojeb said in a statement on Thursday. A total of 208 individuals have been called in for questioning so far and seven have been released without charge, he said.

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