Mega-Billionaire Saudi Prince detained in corruption inquiry

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Dozens of people were detained in Saudi Arabia’s anti-corruption probe Sunday, including a member of the royal family.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Bin Talal is one of the world’s richest men and controls the investment firm Kingdom Holding.  The prince also owns major stakes in News Corp (Fox News), Citigroup, and Twitter.

Saudi authorities detained a billionaire global investor and the head of the National Guard as part of an anti-corruption purge that consolidates Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s hold on power.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was among 11 princes, four ministers and tens of former ministers detained.

A top security official, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, was detained and replaced as minister of the powerful National Guard by Prince Khaled bin Ayyaf. This consolidates Prince Mohammed’s bin Salman’s control of security institutions which had previously been headed by separate branches of the ruling family.

News of the purge came in the early hours of Sunday after King Salman decreed the creation of an anti-corruption committee chaired by his 32-year-old son Prince Mohammed, who has amassed power since rising from obscurity less than three years ago.

In September the prince announced that a ban on women driving would be lifted and he is trying to break decades of conservative tradition by promoting public entertainment and visits by foreign tourists.

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