Still water runs deep – underneath the calm serene look of the young Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is a steel resilience to rid of graft in his kingdom. After the crown prince headed the anti-corruption committee, he has vowed that “Nobody is above the law”. Of those arrested, 11 among them are princes, 38 businessmen and officials. An estimate of about 1,700 bank accounts belonging to different individuals has been frozen.
The “Systematic corruption and embezzlement” in Saudi Arabia, as quoted by the Attorney General, has led to the detention of around 200 people.
Saudi funds found themselves short of more than a $100 billion, which they believe was misused by some of the prominent leaders and businessmen.
As part of the ongoing interrogation, more than 200 nationals including scholars, princes, and businessmen were detained and questioned in the five-star luxury of the Riyadh Ritz Carlton hotel, but bank accounts worth billions of dollars – $800bn by some estimates – have been frozen and “normal” business suspended for the accused movers and shakers, many of them members of the ruling Al Saud family.
According to the Gulf News reports, the Attorney General Saud Al Mojeb stated as follows:
“The financial value of these decades-long practices and misappropriated and unused public funds may exceed $100 billion, according to preliminary investigations”
A few of the identified detainees include none other than the well known “richest Arab” Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and Prince Miteb, the head of National Guard until he resigned this Saturday. Considering privacy of detainees the Saudi Government has not revealed any other name on the list. Rumours have it that Prime minister Saad Hariri is also one among the detained.
Suspects of this anti-corruption cleansing act are being held at the luxurious 5-star Riyadh Ritz-Carlton, the make-do prison for now. The Ritz is shut for all other customers at present.
This brave step against corruption by the crown prince was applauded by the U.S President, Donald Trump. He tweeted:
“I have great confidence in King Salman and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, they know exactly what they are doing,”