Ten senior princes, and 38 ministers have been arrested for corruption and money laundering charges on orders from the new anti-corruption committee headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, while Royal princes’ private planes have been grounded.
Saudi King Salman appointed two new ministers on Nov. 4 to key security and economic posts and gave more power to the kingdom’s young crown prince, Reuters reported.
Mohammed bin Salman was named heir to the throne in June.
The move consolidates the 32-year-old crown prince’s control of the kingdom’s security institutions.
One of those caught up in the corruption sweep is billionaire anti-Trumper AlWaleed bin Talal, famous for establishing Islamic centers in major U.S. universities, appearing as a guest on CNBC, owning stakes in Apple, Twitter, Fox News, and being chummy with terrorists.
Arresting Prince Alwaleed, a nephew of King Salman, was very surprising. The prince has, more than once, expressed his public support to the monarch and his son. When Saudi Arabia cut ties with Iran in 2016, the prince said he was halting plans to invest in the Islamic Republic. On National Day in September, a giant picture of Prince Mohammed was projected on Alwaleed’s Kingdom Tower in Riyadh during a firework display.
Alwaleed has been tied to terrorists for a long time.
Among those fired and/or arrested are the head of National Royal Guards, Miteb Bin Abdullah, the Minister of Economy and Planning, Adel Fakeih, and Admiral Abdullah bin Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Sultan, the Commander of the Saudi Naval Forces.
Bloomberg notes, changing the head of the National Guard, an institution that’s been controlled by the clan of the late King Abdullah, “is 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.”
Al Arabiya reports there will be no special treatment in corruption cases regardless of position. This will seriously divide the Royal family.
All traces of King Abdullah are being purged.
King Salman wants reforms, such as allowing women to drive and it couldn’t be done under King Abdullah. This is a risky purge though the king seems to have it all under control for now.
Alwaleed bin Talal bailed out Trump in the ’90s but hates him as President. Trump also has ties to King Salman as does Jared Kushner. Jared Kushner made a secret trip to meet with the king last month before the purge.
The Saudi king is thinking of using U.S. exchanges