Saudi Arabia arrests 11 princes, including billionaire, in corruption crackdown

06 November, 2017, 02:06 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • Earlier this evening ahead of the arrests Prince Mohammed established the anti-corruption commission by royal decree

Among those taken into custody overnight Saturday were billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the world's richest men with extensive holdings in Western companies, as well as two of the late King Abdullah's sons.

Kingdom Holding's chief executive, listed on its website as Talal Ibrahim al-Maiman, has received the support of the government, and would continue to operate "business as usual", the investment firm said in a stock market statement.

The state-owned Al-Arabiya news channel had reported that the arrested princes have been stripped of their high-ranking administrative posts.

The crown prince warned earlier this year that anyone guilty of corruption would be punished. While numerous suspects were not named, Reuters reports, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah was ousted as minister of the National Guard and replaced by a lower-level prince who held a position with the guard, Khalid bin Ayyaf al-Muqrin.

Prince Mansour is the son of Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, a former director-general of the Saudi Intelligence Agency and a one-time crown prince of the kingdom.

Some of the 11 princes and 38 former government ministers, deputies and businessmen arrested in Saudi Arabia are reportedly being held at the hotel. The 62-year-old is one of the largest shareholders in Citigroup and also owns stakes in News Corp and Twitter.

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The arrest of Prince Alwaleed - King Salman's nephew - comes as surprise.

"People will be looking at any kind of global holdings of the people who have been arrested, to see what will be the impact".

"The homeland will not exist unless corruption is uprooted and the corrupt are held accountable", the royal decree said.

Prince Alwaleed's investments, current and future, may now be in doubt after he was detained in an investigation by a new Saudi anti-corruption body.

Hours before landing in Japan, the first stop of his 12-day Asia trip, the president tweeted his support for a US stock listing for the world's largest oil company: "Would very much appreciate Saudi Arabia doing their IPO of Aramco with the New York Stock Exchange".

The government said the anti-corruption committee has the right to issue arrest warrants, impose travel restrictions and freeze bank accounts.

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