Saudi Arabia announced the arrest Saturday (Nov 4) night of prominent billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, plus at least 10 other princes, four ministers and tens of former ministers.
The announcement of the arrests was made over Al-Arabiya, the Saudi-owned satellite network whose broadcasts are officially approved.
The sweeping campaign of arrests appears to be the latest move to consolidate the power of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the favourite son and top adviser of King Salman.
The king had decreed the creation of a powerful new anti-corruption committee, headed by the crown prince, only hours before the committee ordered the arrests.
Al-Arabiya said the anti-corruption committee has the right to investigate, arrest, ban from travel or freeze the assets of anyone it deems corrupt.
Saudi Arabia is an executive monarchy without a written constitution or independent government institution such as a Parliament or courts, so accusations of corruption are difficult to evaluate.
The boundaries between the public funds and the wealth of the royal family are murky at best, and corruption, as other countries would describe it, is believed to be widespread.
The arrests came a few hours after the king replaced the minister in charge of the Saudi national guard, Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah, who controlled the last of the three Saudi armed forces not yet considered to be under control of Crown Prince Mohammed.
The king named Crown Prince Mohammed the minister of defense in 2015. This year, the king removed Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as head of the Interior Ministry, placing him under house arrest and extending the crown prince's influence over that second armed force.
Rumours have swirled since then that King Salman and his favourite son would soon move against Prince Mutaib, commander of the third armed force and himself a former contender for the crown.
Those arrested and detained so far:
- Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal(Billionaire owner of The Kingdom Holding group 17.1B USD net worth)
Prince Mitaab Bin Abdullah (Former Minister of the National Guard)
Prince Turki Bin Abdullah (Former Governor of Riyadh(Capital))
Prince Turki Bin Nasser
Waleed Ibrahim (Owner of MBC Media Company 10.9B USD net worth)
Khaled Al-Tuwaijri (Former President of the Royal Court)
Adel Faqih (former labor minster and current economy and planning Minister)
Omer Dabbagh (Former president of the General Investment Authority)
Saleh Kamel (Billionaire 2.2B USD net worth)
Saud Al-Tobaishi (Head(former?) of Royal ceremonies and protocols)
Ibrahim Al-Assaf (Former Finance minister and current state minister)
Bakr Bin Ladin (Owner of Bin Ladin Group)
Saud Al-Dawish (former CEO of Saudi Telecom Company)
Khaled Al-Mulhem (former Director General at Saudi Arabian Airlines)
http://www.straitstimes.com/world/middl ... -bin-talal
The purge has begun. Many of these individuals own stakes in Twitter and entire media conglomerates. It is being dressed up as an anti-corruption drive by allies of the Saudi medievalist regime.