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06 November 2017, 02:08 | Kara Nash
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is seen leaving the High Court in London in this
Saudi authorities arrested at least 11 princes, several current ministers and dozens of former ministers in a sweeping move reportedly created to consolidate power for the son of King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud.
President Trump has spoken with the king of Saudi Arabia to offer a wholehearted endorsement of a drive to modernize the kingdom, as the Saudi authorities arrested scores of prominent business people and ministers in a sweeping anti-corruption crackdown.
News broke early Sunday local time that Alwaleed, who is head of Saudi Arabia's National Guard, had been picked up by law enforcement agents in his Saudi desert camp.
A Saudi government official with close ties to security says 11 princes and 38 others are being held after the mass detentions overnight Saturday, including influential Saudi tycoon Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, one of the world's richest men.
Al-Arabiya said that the anti-corruption committee had the right to investigate, arrest, ban from travel or freeze the assets of anyone it deemed corrupt.
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Saudi nationals have long complained of rampant corruption in government and of public funds being squandered or misused by people in power. While numerous suspects were not named, Reuters reports, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah was ousted as minister of the National Guard and replaced by a lower-level prince who held a position with the guard, Khalid bin Ayyaf al-Muqrin. The crown prince now is King Salman's 32-year-old son.
Prince Miteb bin Abdullah is reportedly among those detained in the sweep, as is his brother, Prince Turki bin Abdullah, who was once governor of Riyadh.
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. His ouster as head of the National Guard essentially sidelines one of the most formidable rivals to the current crown prince, who has amassed enormous power in less than three years since his father, King Salman, ascended to the throne.
Also purged were the navy chief and the economy minister. Fakeih with his deputy, Mohammad al-Tuwaijri.
He also sacked the Commander of the Naval Forces Admiral Abdullah bin Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Sultan and referred him to retirement.
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