Billionaire Saudi prince Alwaleed detained in probe -official (4280)

Randolph Lopez
November 6, 2017

Also detained and under investigation is former Saudi finance minister Ibrahim al-Assaf, said the official, who declined to be identified under briefing rules.

The Times adds that Prince Alwaleed has made recent appearances in Western news, to weigh in on topics like cryptocurrencies and to discuss Saudi Arabia's plans to offer public shares of its lucrative oil company, Aramco. 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.

He carried out an anti-corruption purge by arresting royals, ministers and investors including billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal who is one of the kingdom's most prominent businessmen, Reuters reported. It also sends a message that the crown prince has the full backing of his father, King Salman, to carry out sweeping anti-corruption reforms targeting senior royals and their business associates, who have always been seen as operating above the law.

Some of the 11 princes and 38 former government ministers, deputies and businessmen arrested in Saudi Arabia are reportedly being held at the hotel.

Prince Alwaleed increased his stake in Citigroup at the height of the global financial crisis a decade ago and he has held on to the stake, saying as recently as last month that he was very happy with the investment.

With the two princes now sidelined, control of the kingdom's security apparatuses is now largely centralised under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also defence minister. Many of them are potential rivals or critics of the crown prince, whose purported anti-corruption sweep sent shockwaves across the kingdom Sunday as he further consolidated power.

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Kingdom Holding did not respond to requests for comment from The National.

The Saudi Interior Ministry said early Monday that the crash happened in Saudi Arabia's Asir province.

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

The arrests follow the king's dismissal of top ministers and a crackdown on dissidents.

Al-Arabiya said that the anti-corruption committee had the right to investigate, arrest, ban from travel or freeze the assets of anyone it deemed corrupt.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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