Dozens of Saudi Arabian Princes and former government ministers have been arrested hours after an anti-corruption commission was formed.
Among those detainees is Saudi billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal – who is one of the richest men in the world and owns the British capital’s top hotel the Savoy.
Prince Alwaleed is one of the Middle East’s richest people, with investments in Twitter, Apple, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, Citigroup, the Four Seasons hotel chains and most recently in ride sharing service Lyft.
He’s also known for being among the most outspoken Saudi royals, long advocating for greater women’s rights.
He is also majority owner of the popular Rotana Group of Arabic channels.
‘The reported detention of Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, if true, would send shockwaves through the domestic and international business community.’
Prince Alwaleed has made several appearances on CNBC to give investment advice.
Last month he was on the network predicting bitcoin was a ‘speculative bubble that would soon implode’.
Officials in the kingdom has also frozen the bank accounts of 11 princes and 38 former government ministers, deputies and businessmen who are being held in five-star hotels across the capital, Riyadh, in the anti-corruption sweep.
‘The accounts and balances of those detained will be revealed and frozen,’ a spokesman for Saudi Arabia’s information ministry said.
‘Any asset or property related to these cases of corruption will be registered as state property.’
Those detained are being held in five-star hotels across the capital, Riyadh, in the anti-corruption sweep.
Reports suggest some of the detainees are being held at the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh.
A royal court official, Badr al-Asaker, on Sunday appeared to confirm the arrests on Twitter, describing a ‘historic and black night against the corrupt’.
The powerful heads of the Saudi National Guard, an elite internal security force, and the navy were also replaced in a series of high-profile sackings that sent shock waves in the kingdom.
An aviation source has said that security forces had grounded private jets in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, potentially to prevent any high-profile figures from leaving.
‘The breadth and scale of the arrests appears to be unprecedented in modern Saudi history,’ said Kristian Ulrichsen, a fellow at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University,’ they said.
Read more on this story at the Daily Mail