Saudi Arabia arrests princes, ministers and business figures in anti-corruption crackdown

06 November, 2017, 02:09 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • Saudi Arabia US Iran Yemen Trump

Saudi Arabia has detained dozens of princes, businessmen, senior military officials and top officials in luxury hotels, media has reported, as part of a major arrest sweep it claims is part of an anti-corruption probe.

Those detained included a number of government officials including Prince Turki bin Abdullah, former governor of Riyadh province, Khalid Al Tuwaijri, former chief of the Royal Court and Ibrahim Al Assaf, former finance minister, according list published by Reuters.

The Saudi-owned satellite news channel Al-Arabiya says the crash killed Prince Mansour bin Murquin and seven others.

Earlier, Kingdom Holding reported it swung to a third quarter profit after restating the same year ago period to a loss.

The crash comes after Saudi Arabia on Saturday intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile near Riyadh's global airport after it was sacked from Yemen, in an escalation of the kingdom's war against Iran-backed Huthi rebels. Alwaleed also owns a roughly 5% stake in Twitter and substantial undisclosed stakes in Apple and Euro Disney.

Official justifications notwithstanding, the sweep was widely seen as as a move to consolidate power around Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 32-year-old heir to the Saudi throne now occupied by his father, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

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According to videos published on social media, smoke could be seen rising near Riyadh's King Khalid International Airport. The missile was sacked across Saudi Arabia's southern border by Yemen's Houthi rebels, who are at war with the kingdom.


Saudi Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman in Moscow's Kremlin, Russia, May 30, 2017.

The purge against the kingdom's political and business elite also targeted the head of the National Guard Prince Miteb bin Abdullah who was detained and replaced as minister of the powerful National Guard by Prince Khaled bin Ayyaf.

The arrest of Alwaleed and other royals further clears a path to power for the rising crown prince, who in June ousted his elder cousin, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, as interior minister and heir to the Saudi throne. Prince Muqrin was removed as crown prince in April 2015 by King Salman.

In addition to locking down bank accounts, the Saudi government said it will seize any property linked to corruption charges.

He said the Saudi Arabian leadership is "keen to protect public money and eradicate corruption, which hampers the economy and society", adding the decree was a "clear message" that no one can escape justice if they are proven to be involved in corruption.

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