Billionaire Saudi prince Alwaleed detained in probe -official (4280)

Violet Tucker
November 6, 2017

Among 11 royals and several other government ministers arrested Saturday was Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, an internationally prominent investor with an estimated net worth of around $19 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The crown prince warned earlier this year that anyone guilty of corruption would be punished.

The king named Crown Prince Mohammed the minister of defence in 2015.

Prince Alwaleed and head of the Saudi National Guard Prince Miteb bin Abdullah - son of the late King Abdullah and once a leading contender to the throne - were detained as part of the probe, Reuters said.

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Prince Alwaleed formed Kingdom Holding in 1979, initially pouring money into real estate in Riyadh; in the 1990s he ventured into Wall Street, investing heavily in Citigroup. Phone lines to the hotel have been cut off since Sunday morning.

The arrest of Prince Alwaleed - King Salman's nephew - comes as surprise.

Prince Alwaleed's investments, current and future, may now be in doubt after he was detained in an investigation by a new Saudi anti-corruption body.

The committee can issue arrest warrants and ban people from travelling, the BBC reported.

The kingdom's top council of clerics was quick to throw its support behind the royal decree, tweeting shortly after the announcement: "Fighting corruption is an obligation in Islamic sharia [law], a requirement of national interest, and combating it is just as important as the fight against terrorism".

Hours before landing in Japan, the first stop of his 12-day Asia trip, the president tweeted his support for a USA stock listing for the world's largest oil company: "Would very much appreciate Saudi Arabia doing their IPO of Aramco with the New York Stock Exchange".

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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