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Thread: Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed detained in corruption inquiry (Related to 'Power consolidation')

   
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    Default Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed detained in corruption inquiry (Related to 'Power consolidation')

    RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi authorities detained a billionaire global investor and the head of the National Guard as part of an anti-corruption purge that consolidates Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s hold on power.

    Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns investment firm Kingdom Holding 4280.SE, was among 11 princes, four ministers and tens of former ministers detained, two senior Saudi officials told Reuters on Sunday.

    A top security official, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, was detained and replaced as minister of the powerful National Guard by Prince Khaled bin Ayyaf. This consolidates Prince Mohammed’s bin Salman’s control of security institutions which had previously been headed by separate branches of the ruling family.

    News of the purge came in the early hours of Sunday after King Salman decreed the creation of an anti-corruption committee chaired by his 32-year-old son Prince Mohammed, who has amassed power since rising from obscurity less than three years ago.

    The new body was given broad powers to investigate cases, issue arrest warrants and travel restrictions and freeze assets.

    “The homeland will not exist unless corruption is uprooted and the corrupt are held accountable,” the royal decree said.

    Analysts said the goal of the purge went beyond corruption and aimed to remove potential opposition to Prince Mohammed as he pushes an ambitious and controversial reform agenda.

    In September he announced that a ban on women driving would be lifted and he is trying to break decades of conservative tradition by promoting public entertainment and visits by foreign tourists.

    In economic policy, he has slashed state spending in some areas and plans a big sale of state assets.

    “The most recent crackdown breaks with the tradition of consensus within the ruling family whose secretive inner workings are equivalent to those of the Kremlin at the time of the Soviet Union,” wrote James Dorsey, a senior fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

    “Prince Mohammed, rather than forging alliances, is extending his iron grip to the ruling family, the military, and the National Guard to counter what appears to be more widespread opposition within the family as well as the military to his reforms and the Yemen war,” Dorsey said.

    An economist at a big Gulf bank, who declined to be named because of political sensitivities, said nobody in Saudi Arabia believed corruption was at the root of the purge.

    “It’s about consolidating power and frustration that reforms haven’t been happening fast enough,” the economist said.

    ALARM BELLS

    The round-up sets alarm bells ringing across the region and beyond. It also recalls the palace coup in June through which Mohammad bin Salman ousted his elder cousin, Mohammad bin Nayef, as heir to the throne and interior minister.

    MbS, as he is known, was widely expected to follow through by, at the least, removing Prince Miteb bin Abdallah from leadership of the National Guard, a pivotal power-base rooted in the kingdom’s tribes.

    Other detainees include former finance minister Ibrahim al-Assaf, a board member of national oil giant Saudi Aramco; economy minister Adel Fakieh, who once played a major role in drafting reforms; former Riyadh governor Prince Turki bin Abdullah and Khalid al-Tuwaijiri, who headed the Royal Court under the late King Abdullah.

    Prince Alwaleed is one of Saudi Arabia’s best-known international businessmen as an investor in firms such as Citigroup (C.N) and Twitter (TWTR.N).

    Bakr bin Laden, chairman of the big Saudi Binladin construction group, and Alwaleed al-Ibrahim, owner of the MBC television network, were also detained.

    Some detainees were believed to be held at the opulent Ritz-Carlton hotel in the diplomatic quarter of Riyadh, sources in contact with the government told Reuters. The hotel and an adjacent facility were the site of an international conference promoting Saudi Arabia as an investment destination last month.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-sa...-idUSKBN1D506P
    'We may not change the world in one day but we still can change some things today, in our small way.'[/SIZE][/SIZE]

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    moonstreet
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    Default Re: Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed detained in corruption inquiry (Related to 'Power consolidatio

    he used to have a 10% share of Disneyland Paris but now just has a 1% share after Disney bought out 9% in February 2017.

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    Default Re: Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed detained in corruption inquiry (Related to 'Power consolidatio

    This was an interesting tweet from 2015 (The addressee is a spoof / fake Al Waleed account, not the real one :

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account
    @realDonaldTrump
    Follow Follow @realDonaldTrump
    More
    Saudi Arabia should be paying the United States many billions of dollars for our defense of them. Without us, gone! @AlWaleedbinT
    12:40 PM - 29 Jun 2015

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/...85019503620097

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The arrests also come as Crown Prince Mohammed has forged a close relationship with President Trump, who shares his aggressive approach to Saudi’s regional rival, Iran, and a penchant for bold decisions.

    Prince Alwaleed sparred with Mr. Trump on Twitter during the American presidential election, referring to him as a “disgrace not only to the GOP but to all America.” Mr. Trump fired back, also on Twitter, that he was a “dopey prince” trying to “control our U.S. politicians with daddy’s money.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/05/b...-investor.html
    Last edited by myosotis; 05-11-2017 at 04:17 PM.
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