Saudi Arabia arrests 11 princes in anti-corruption sweep

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

The arrest of senior princes upends a longstanding tradition among the ruling Al Saud family to keep their disagreements private in an effort to show strength and unity in the face of Saudi Arabia's many tribes and factions.

Financial markets are bracing for the potential fallout Monday from the surprising arrest of Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the billionaire and global investor who holds stakes in entertainment and digital companies such as 21st Century Fox, Twitter, Apple, and Euro Disney.

Adel Fakeih: The minister of Economy and Planning, Adel Fakeih was replaced by Mohammad al-Tuwaijri. It also sends a message that the crown prince has the full backing of his father, King Salman, to carry out sweeping anti-corruption reforms targeting senior royals and their business associates, who have always been seen as operating above the law.

Some of the 11 princes and 38 former government ministers, deputies and businessmen arrested in Saudi Arabia are reportedly being held at the hotel.

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Other names listed were of businessmen, including Bakr bin Laden, chairman of Saudi Binladin Group, Alwaleed Al Ibrahim, owner of television network MBC, and Khalid Al Mulheim, former director general at Saudi Arabian Airlines.

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.

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

Saudi officials described Saturday's arrests as the result of an investigation by a newly created anti-corruption committee.

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Kingdom Holding did not respond to requests for comment from The National.

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

In addition to locking down bank accounts, the Saudi government said it will seize any property linked to corruption charges.

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".

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