Saudi Prince Dies in Helicopter Crash Near Yemen Border

06 November, 2017, 02:07 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • The 32-year-old crown prince often known as MBS has projected himself as a liberal reformer in the ultra-conservative kingdom

The arrest of Alwaleed and other royals further clears a path to power for the rising crown prince, who in June ousted his elder cousin, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, as interior minister and heir to the Saudi throne.

This comes in the light of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman being named as the head of a new anti-corruption committee, which is conducting probes into the disastrous floods of 2009 that wreaked havoc in Jeddah.

"As a leader who is set to remain in power for decades, Mohammed bin Salman is remaking the kingdom in his own image and signalling a potentially significant move away from the consensual balancing of competing interests that characterised Saudi rule in the past", Mr Ulrichsen said.

Among 11 royals and several other government ministers arrested Saturday was Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, an internationally prominent investor with an estimated net worth of around $19 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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

Prince Alwaleed controls Kingdom Holding and is one of the world's richest men.

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

Saudi officials described Saturday's arrests as the result of an investigation by a newly created anti-corruption committee.

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The government said the anti-corruption committee has the right to issue arrest warrants, impose travel restrictions and freeze bank accounts.

The kingdom's top council of clerics was quick to throw its support behind the royal decree, tweeting shortly after the announcement: "Fighting corruption is an obligation in Islamic sharia [law], a requirement of national interest, and combating it is just as important as the fight against terrorism".

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.

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