Sunday, 5 November 2017

Saudi Arabia detains 11 princes, four sitting ministers and dozens of ex ministers in 'corruption crackdown'

The heir to the throne in Saudi Arabia has consolidated his hold on power with a major purge of the kingdom's political and business leadership.

A new anti-corruption body, headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, detained 11 princes, four sitting ministers and dozens of ex-ministers.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a billionaire with investments in Twitter and Apple, is among those held.

Separately King Salman replaced the national guard and the navy chiefs.

The new anti-corruption committee has the power to issue arrest warrants and travel bans.
Saudi broadcaster Al-Arabiya said fresh investigations had been launched into the 2009 Jeddah floods and the outbreak of the Mers virus which emerged in Saudi Arabia in 2012 - but analysts see the detentions as a clear move by the crown prince to strengthen his power base.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal in London, 2 July 2013
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal

Saudi Arabian Prince Miteb bin Abdullah at the Elysee Palace in Paris, 18 June 2014
Prince Miteb bin Abdullah

Those reported to have been detained include:
  • Former Finance Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf, a board member of the Saudi Aramco oil company
  • Economy Minister Adel Fakieh
  • Former Riyadh governor Prince Turki bin Abdullah
  • Former head of the royal court Khalid al-Tuwaijiri
  • Bakr bin Laden, chairman of the Saudi Binladin construction group
Some of the detainees are being held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in the diplomatic quarter of Riyadh, sources in contact with the government told Reuters news agency.

BBC      News.

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