Saudi Arabia arrested 11 princes, including a prominent billionaire, and dozens of current and former ministers in a sweeping crackdown as the kingdom’s young crown prince consolidates power.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman also replaced the head of the Saudi National Guard, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, who was before considered a contender for the throne, along with the navy chief and the economy minister.
The Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news channel reported late Saturday that dozens of princes and former ministers were detained in a new anti-corruption probe headed by the kingdom’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Among those detain is Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Prince Alwaleed is one of the Middle East’s richest people, he’s also known for being among the most outspoken Saudi royals, long advocating for greater women’s rights.
The purge comes less than two weeks after Prince Mohammed welcomed thousands of global business titans to Riyadh for an investment summit, showcasing his economic reform drive for a post-oil era.
It follows a wave of arrests of influential clerics and activists in September as the 32-year-old prince, known as MBS, cements his grip on power.