Saudi’s Prince bin Talal, 1 of the World’s Richest Men Out of Friends and Time
Saudi Arabia’s wealthiest man, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, is running out of friends and time, but is still refusing to pay a hefty fine or cede control of his holdings to new Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to secure his freedom.
Prince bin Talal was moved this past week from his restricted quarters at the Riyadh Ritz Carlton Hotel, where he had been held for the past 2 months after he was arrested during an “anti-corruption” sweep waged by the Saudi government to very much less luxurious confinement,
He and about 200 of his fellow princes and top officials were held at the Ritz after the sweeps, but just a few prisoners remain, as most of those detained admitted financial crimes, paid fines and were released.
Prince bin Talal, though, is refusing to pay the $6-B leaved by Saudi’s anti corruption authority, along with control of some of his investment companies.
His company, Kingdom Holdings has major ownership in Key US banking and high tech companies.
Meanwhile, his influential friends have been quiet about his being detained.
The new Crown Prince came into power last Summer, and has since been building up Saudi Arabia’s defenses against Iran.
In November he had Prince bin Talal and the other officials arrested, as the government seized billions in assets from them and several major Saudi companies.
The Trump Administration, other nations and Saudi’s King are clearly OK with whatever means the Crown Prince is using to modernize the Kingdom and strengthening its ability to oppose Iran.
The allegations against Prince bin Talal include money laundering, bribery and extorting officials, a Saudi official told Reuters soon after his detention.
Neither he nor his company has commented publicly on the charges.
Kingdom Holding, which has said it is continuing to operate normally, did not respond to requests for comment when asked about any settlement talks.
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