Saudi Anti-Corruption Sweep Leads to High-profile Arrests

 

By Becky Anderson and Sarah El Sirgany, CNN

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (CNN)Saudi Arabia’s newly formed anti-corruption committee has arrested at least 17 princes and top officials, according to a list obtained by CNN and cited by a senior royal court official.

The list includes Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the billionaire businessman who owns 95% of Kingdom Holding, which holds stakes in global companies such as Citigroup, Twitter, Apple and News Corp. Reports of his arrest saw $750 million wiped off Prince Alwaleed’s fortune Sunday.
At least 38 former, current, and deputy ministers, have been arrested on accusations of corruption. CNN has obtained the names of 17 people on the list including formal head of the royal court Khaled Al-Tuwaijri, Saudi media mogul Waleed Al-Ibrahim and Prince Turki bin Nasser.
Badr Asaker, the bureau manager of Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, tweeted the list of arrested businessmen, princes and officials early Sunday. The list was also independently obtained by CNN.
In addition, three ministers were removed from their positions, and tens of former ministers were detained as part of the new anti-corruption campaign initiated by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, according to Saudi-backed broadcaster Al-Arabiya.
King Salman ordered the new anti-corruption initiative as part of an “active reform agenda aimed at tackling a persistent problem that has hindered development efforts in the Kingdom in recent decades,” a press release from the Saudi Ministry of Communications said.
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