Over the weekend, in a bold move that surprised and astonished the global financial and political community, the Saudi Arabia government arrested nearly a dozen princes, and former and current officials in a new anti-corruption movement.
Well-known multi-billionaire investor, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal , was one of the most recognizable names among those arrested.
Prince Alwaleed, one of the world’s richest men, owns the investment firm Kingdom Holding, which in turn, holds significant interests in Twitter Inc., JD.com Inc., the Four Seasons hotel chain, Ebay, TimeWarner, Apple, EuroDisney, Motorola, Citigroup and News Corp.
Saudi Arabian King Salman said the creation of the anti-corruption edict stated that the goal was to identify and investigate the “exploitation by some of the weak souls who have put their own interests above the public interest, in order to, illicitly, accrue money.”
The arrests were purportedly ordered by a newly established Saudi Arabian anti-corruption committee to combat corruption and designed to give confidence to investors, protect public funds and create a new era of financial transparency.
According to Mohammed Al-Jadaan, the Saudi Minister of Finance, the committee would enforce anti-corruption regulations within the rule of law and to international standards. He added that it will “consolidate the reform approach adopted by the government to eradicate corruption and consolidate the principles of governance, accountability and justice”.
Also this weekend, according to Saudi state television, in an unrelated (maybe?) event, a Saudi prince, Mansour bin Muqrin, was killed when his helicopter crashed near the border with Yemen.
The cause of the crash is not known at this time.