Saudi Arabia's attorney general says the kingdom has called in 208 people for questioning in a sweeping probe, estimating that $100 billion has been misused through embezzlement and corruption in past decades.

Saud al-Mojeb said in a statement on Thursday that seven people were released without charge, leaving 201 people still detained.

Critics and observers say the purge that has targeted top princes, officials, military officers and businessmen is a power grab by the crown prince to sideline potential rivals and critics.

An estimated 1700 bank accounts have been frozen.

Al-Mojeb says action was taken to suspend personal bank accounts, but did not disclose any figures. The government has also declined to name the individuals being questioned, saying it is respecting their privacy during this phase of the process.