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Saudi Cabinet reshuffle, crackdown on corruption By

Saudi Cabinet reshuffle, crackdown on corruption By

In June this year, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was appointed to the role after his father, King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, chose to depose former Crown Prince Muhammad bin Naye. The state-owned Al-Arabiya news channel had reported that the arrested princes have been stripped of their high-ranking administrative posts. "No one is above the law whether it is a prince or a minister", Prince Mohammed said in a television interview.

Eleven princes and dozens of former government ministers have been arrested in Saudi Arabia hours after an anti-corruption commission was formed.

Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb did not acknowledge the arrests or name any suspects, but The Associated Press has reported that billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and other senior royals, military officers, businessmen and ex-ministers have been detained and are being held in five-star hotels across the capital, Riyadh.

The latest purge saw Prince Miteb bin Abdullah sacked as the head of the National Guard, an elite internal security force.

Adel Fakeih: The minister of Economy and Planning, Adel Fakeih was replaced by Mohammad al-Tuwaijri.

Prince Alwaleed, one of the country's highest profile businessmen, was one of several princes, ministers, and former ministers detained as part of an anti-corruption crackdown, two senior Saudi officials told Reuters on Sunday.

His investment firm Kingdom Holding - whose share price plunged 10 per cent on Sunday in response to news of his detention - recently bought about half of a 31.1 per cent stake in Saudi lender Banque Saudi Fransi from France's Credit Agricole.

Prince Alwaleed controls Kingdom Holding and is one of the world's richest men.

Prince Alwaleed's father was the kingdom's finance minister during the 1960s.

It was not immediately clear if Saturday's arrests were connected to the new anti-corruption committee.

The second duty of the committee is "the investigation, issuance of arrest warrants, travel ban, disclosure and freezing of accounts and portfolios, tracking of funds, assets and preventing their remittance or transfer by persons and entities, whatever they might be".

The committee's goal was to "preserve public money, punish corrupt people and those who exploit their positions", according to the royal decree.

Analysts suggested the corruption probe, which targeted key members of the royal family, was a show of force by the crown prince, aimed at removing any potential opposition as he pushes an ambitious and controversial reform agenda.

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