Riyadh: Last 24 hours has seen significant events in Saudi Arabia since King Salman established anti-corruption committee and announced the appointment of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to head the committee. Within few hours of the announcement, Prince ‘Alwaleed bin Talal’ along with other 11 princes have been arrested under charges of corruption. 4 other ministers and 34 officials are also arrested under the same charge.
According to official news channels of Saudi Arabia, the orders for arrest of princes were issued on late Saturday night. Arrest of billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has caused a stir in media around the world. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal had big investments in many global companies including ‘News Corp’ a popular media group, ‘Citigroup’ in banking sector and social media company ‘Twitter’.
Along with Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, two sons of previous King Abdullah have also been arrested including Prince Miteb bin Abdullah who is a future heir of Saudi Kingdom and considered to be fierce rival of Prince Salman. Prince Miteb bin Abdullah was the chief of Saudi national guard. He has been ousted from his responsibility a few hours before his arrest.
Decision of pressing charge of corruption against Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah and 11 other princes is hailed by pro-government media outlets. Prince Mohammed had recently announced new reforms in Saudi. Media is attributing and reminding the Saturday night arrest of Saudi princes and ministers to the promise fulfilment of Prince Mohammed on reforms.
Since a few months, Prince Mohammed initiated arrest of Saudi princes. It is claimed that Prince Mohammed is keeping check on his rivals, opponents and critics through his actions. Recently young Saudi princes, religious leaders, writers and people active on social media too were arrested. Hence it is seen that Prince Mohammed is consolidating his power to be the contender of the throne. However, the recent events signal growing conflict amongst the Royal family, reaction of which could soon be seen as suggested by international analysts.