Saudi officials have arrested nearly a dozen princes amid the oil-rich kingdom’s campaign against corruption, which is considered the biggest purge of political dissidents and the elite in the country’s modern history.
Members of the Saudi Arabian Royal Guard Regiment arrested 11 princes outside the Royal Palace in Riyadh on Saturday. The targeted princes had been transferred to al-Ha’ir Prison, located approximately 25 miles south of Riyadh, where they are awaiting trial.
Earlier, dozens of princes, ministers and former ministers were detained in late December on the order of Saudi Arabia’s so-called Anti-Corruption Committee headed by the Crown Prince, in a crackdown, which is widely believed to be aimed at consolidating his power.
The detained individuals are facing allegations of money laundering, bribery, extorting officials and misappropriation of public funds for personal benefits.
Prince al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz, the chairman of investment firm Kingdom Holding Company, Nasser bin Aqeel al-Tayyar, the founder of Al Tayyar Travel Group, and Amr al-Dabbagh, the chairman of builder Red Sea International, are among the top business executives detained during the purge.
Political analysts say Saudi King Salman plans to relinquish power in favor of his son who is pursuing a self-promotion campaign under the cover of tackling high-level corruption.
The Saudi Kingdom is currently struggling with plummeting oil prices as the Al Saud regime also faces criticism over its deadly military campaign against neighboring Yemen, which it launched in March 2015.
PressTV.com / AA Magnum Analyst News 2018.