Saudi Arabia arrests 11 princes, including billionaire, in corruption crackdown

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is seen leaving the High Court in London in this

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is seen leaving the High Court in London in this

Prince Mansour bin Moqren, deputy governor of Asir province, was among several government officials on board the aircraft that crashed in the Air Region, Saudi Arabia.

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

Official justifications notwithstanding, the sweep was widely seen as as a move to consolidate power around Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 32-year-old heir to the Saudi throne now occupied by his father, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

Alwaleed was giving interviews to the Western news media as recently as late last month about subjects like so-called crypto currencies and Saudi Arabia's plans for a public offering of shares in its state oil company, Aramco.

The missile attack was the first aimed by the Shiite rebels at the heart of the Saudi capital, underscoring the growing threat posed by the raging conflict in Yemen.

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Hoping for a quick victory against what it saw as Iranian expansionism in its back yard, Riyadh has so far been unable to remove the Huthis from Yemeni capital Sanaa.

Other detainees include Alwaleed al-Ibrahim, owner and chairman of Dubai-based Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC), which is the Arab world's leading satellite television network.

This comes in the light of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman being named as the head of a new anti-corruption committee, which is conducting probes into the disastrous floods of 2009 that wreaked havoc in Jeddah. Earlier this year, the king removed Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as head of the interior ministry, placing him under house arrest and extending the crown prince's influence over the interior ministry's troops, which act as a second armed force.

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal speaking during a press conference in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, on May 11, 2017. He was among 11 princes, four ministers and tens of former ministers detained, three senior officials told Reuters on Sunday.

The king had decreed the creation of a powerful new anti-corruption committee, headed by the crown prince, only hours before the committee ordered the arrests.

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