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MAJOR BIG DEAL: Saudi King Cleans House – Arrests Billionaire Prince Al-Waleed, Ministers and Tycoons On Corruption

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has shaken up the Kingdom, arresting one of the royal family’s most prominent princes from his ministerial role along with nearly a dozen other princes, ministers, and business tycoons in a purge that leaves the king – and later the crown prince, with all levers of power of the middle-eastern Kingdom.

Via Bloomberg

Acting on orders from a newly established anti-corruption committee, headed by his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi police arrested 11 princes, four ministers and dozens of former ministers, Al Arabiya television said. Other changes announced separately on Saturday included the replacement of the economy minister and a new head for the powerful National Guard.

Laws will be applied firmly on everyone who touched public money and didn’t protect it or embezzled it, or abused their power and influence,” King Salman said in comments shown on state TV. “This will be applied on those big and small, and we will fear no one.
Prince Miteb, son of the late King Abdullah, was replaced as minister of the National Guard by Prince Khaled Ayyaf, according to a royal decree. Before his ouster, Prince Miteb was one of the few remaining senior princes to have survived a series of cabinet shuffles that promoted allies of the crown prince, who is the direct heir to the throne.

The arrest of prominent billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal – the second largest shareholder of both Twitter and Citigroup – is sure to send shockwaves through both the Kingdom and the world’s major financial centers.

Via NYT:

Alwaleed, who controls the investment firm Kingdom Holding and is one of the world’s richest men, has major stakes in News Corp, Time Warner, Citigroup, Twitter, Apple, Motorola and many other well-known companies. He also controls satellite television networks watched across the Arab world.

Furthermore, Prince Miteb’s ouster as head of the National Guard is huge. As an institution controlled by the clan of the late King Abdullah, “[It’s] not like changing the minister of oil,” said Kamran Bokhari, a senior analyst with Geopolitical Futures and a senior fellow with the Center for Global Policy. “I wouldn’t be surprised if this leads to greater fissures within the royal family.”

Furthermore, the heads of the main three Saudi owned TV networks were arrested, Alwalid Bin Talal (Rotana), Walid Al Brahim (MBC), Saleh Kamel (ART)

Paving the way

In June, King Salman had already demoted other senior members of the royal family who might oppose the ascension of the crown prince, Prince Mohammed, 32, who replaced his cousin Muhammed bin Nayef as heir apparent in June.

The prince appears to be quite the moderate – announcing plans to sell his stake in Saudi oil giant Aramco and create the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund by 2030, along with several state supported socio-cultural changes – starting with giving women the right to drive at the end of September.

Via ZeroHedge

King Salman also issued an decree forming an anti-corruption committee headed by the crown prince. Its powers include the ability to trace funds and assets, and prevent their transfer or liquidation on behalf of individuals or entities, along with the right to take any precautionary actions until cases are referred to relevant investigatory or judiciary authorities, according to a government statement.

The committee’s formation was deemed necessary “due to the propensity of some people for abuse, putting their personal interest above public interest, and stealing public funds,” the Royal Order said.

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  1. sarcrilege

    What a piker this bin Salman Shalomi is. That is no putsch or purge. Nikolai Yezhov, the Stalinist bolshevik, is Mr. Purge – 600,000 russians died at the hands of the jew bolsheviks during the purge. Perhaps bin Salman Shalomi should consult his buds in that filthy zionist State of Israel and get some advice on how to carry out a proper gov’t purge.

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  2. sarcrilege

    This is a successful by the book government purge:
    Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov, 1936–38 Great Soviet Purge

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