Saudi Arabia’s Crackdown On Corrupto, Princes & Ministers Arrested Including Billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal
In a surprising turn of events, dozens of influential people were arrested in Saudi Arabia. The list of people that were arrested included everyone from sitting cabinet ministers to members of the royal family. Even Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, a billionaire with investments in Twitter and Citigroup was arrested in this sudden and surprising purge.
What was surprising about this billionaire’s arrest was the fact that he had publicly lent his support to the new regime in the kingdom including the decision to interfere in Yemen’s civil war.
This sensational action is being branded in two ways, each account contradicting each other. According to Saudi officials and loyalist media outlets, these arrests are part of a plan that aims to drive out corruption and graft in the kingdom. However, others see it as a way for Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman to upsurge all these rivals and gain more power in the kingdom. They think that Mohammed Bin Salman is preparing himself for becoming the King in case his father King Salman abdicates the throne.
The arrests came after Prince Mohammed was named as the head of the new anti-corruption agency formed by his father. According to reports by Saudi agencies, 11 princes, four current ministers, and numerous former ministers were amongst those arrested.
The senior ministers who were sacked include Prince Mitaab bin Abdullah, the head of the National Guard, and Adel Faqih, the economy minister.
Here is a list of the people who have allegedly been detained by the Saudi authorities.
Alwaleed bin Talal owner of Kingdom Holding group
Prince Mitaab bin Abdullah, minister of the National Guard
Prince Turki bin Abdullah, former governor of Riyadh
Prince Turki bin Nasser, former head of meteorology, environment
Waleed Ibrahim, owner of MBC media group
Khaled al-Tuwaijri, former president of the Royal Court
Adel Faqih, minister of economy and planning
Saleh Abdullah Kamel, chairman of Dallah al Baraka Group
Ibrahim al-Assaf, state minister and executive of Saudi Aramco
Bakr Binladin, owner of construction company Saudi Binladin Group
Saud al-Dawish, former CEO of Saudi Telecom Company
According to a reputable news source, the committee is investigating numerous things including the 2009 floods in Jeddah as well as how the government responded to the MERS virus.
The anti-corruption committee has been given the power to issue warrants, impose travel bans, freeze accounts, track funds and prevent the transfer of funds.
It remains to be seen if this move is really going to weed out corruption from the kingdom or will just aggravate matters further for the new crown prince and the regime that awaits him.