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

06 November, 2017, 01:06 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Earlier this evening ahead of the arrests Prince Mohammed established the anti-corruption commission by royal decree

A Saudi government official with close ties to security says 11 princes and 38 others are being held after the mass detentions overnight Saturday, including influential Saudi tycoon Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, one of the world's richest men.

The cause of the crash was not detailed in the report.

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.

Alwaleed was giving interviews to the Western news media as recently as late last month about subjects like so-called crypto currencies and Saudi Arabia's plans for a public offering of shares in its state oil company, Aramco.

Also purged were the navy chief and the economy minister.

The crash follows a day after a ballistic missile launch that was sacked at an airport in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi.

The attack highlighted how the war in Yemen is increasingly spilling across the border since a Saudi-led coalition began its military intervention there in 2015.

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Hoping for a quick victory against what it saw as Iranian expansionism in its back yard, Riyadh has so far been unable to remove the Huthis from Yemeni capital Sanaa.

Prince Alwaleed's father was the kingdom's finance minister during the 1960s. Some 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.

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.

Rumours have swirled since then that King Salman and his favourite son would soon move against Mutaib, commander of the third armed force and himself a former contender for the crown.

The attorney general said Sunday the newly-formed anti-corruption committee headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is conducting investigations to ensure transparency and good governance.

Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said that "11 princes, tens of former ministers and four current ministers were arrested", but it did not disclose any names.

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