Saudi crown prince tightens grip on power, arrests royals

Tammy Harvey
November 6, 2017

Other detainees include Alwaleed al-Ibrahim, owner and chairman of Dubai-based Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC), which is the Arab world's leading satellite television network.

Saudi authorities arrested at least 11 princes, several current ministers and dozens of former ministers in a sweeping move reportedly created to consolidate power for the son of King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud.

Dozens of Saudi government officials and businessmen have been detained in an anti-corruption crackdown, including Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the kingdom's most prominent tycoons. On the same day as the arrests, King Salman removed the powerful royal rival Prince Miteb bin Abdullah from his position as minister of the National Guard, giving Crown Prince Mohammed tighter control over the kingdom's security services.

Adel Fakeih: The minister of Economy and Planning, Adel Fakeih was replaced by Mohammad al-Tuwaijri.

Bloomberg quoted a senior Saudi official as saying that 11 princes and 38 current or former senior officials were arrested. The 62-year-old is one of the largest shareholders in Citigroup and also owns stakes in News Corp and Twitter. Phone lines to the hotel have been cut off since Sunday morning. He has expressed support to the king and halted plans to invest in Iran in 2016, when Riyadh cut all ties with Tehran.


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

Saudi officials described Saturday's arrests as the result of an investigation by a newly created anti-corruption committee. The royal decree said the committee was needed "due to the propensity of some people for abuse, putting their personal interest above public interest, and stealing public funds" and will "trace and combat corruption at all levels", the statement said. The new body was given broad powers to investigate cases, issue arrest warrants and travel restrictions, and seize assets.

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".

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

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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