Saudi authorities demand one-third of Alwaleed bin Talal’s fortune to free him

File Photo of Saudi tycoon Prince Alwalid bin Talal

File Photo of Saudi tycoon Prince Alwalid bin Talal

Saudi Arabian authorities demanded at least $6 billion from Prince Alwaleed bin Talal in exchange for his release, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday, citing people familiar with the matter.

According to the report, the Saudi tycoon, who was arrested as part of the purge in early November, is negotiating with the Saudi government. A regular on the Arab world’s richest list with an estimated net worth of $18.7 billion, Alwaleed will need to liquidate a large portion of his assets in Kingdom Holding Co.

The company holds major stakes in Fox, Time Warner, Citigroup, Twitter, Apple, Motorola and many other well-known companies and has a market value of almost $9 billion.

Dozens of high-profile figures including princes, ministers and tycoons are being held in Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel, now a makeshift luxury prison, in the biggest sweep of the kingdom’s elite in its recent history.

Some 320 people were called in for questioning and 159 people are currently being detained, many of whom have agreed to a “settlement,” or handing over allegedly ill-gotten gains to the Saudi state treasury, attorney general Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb said.

Some analysts saw the arrest of high-profile figures as an attempt by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also Saudi defense minister, to consolidate his control over the security services.

But Saudi authorities insist the purge was meant solely to target endemic corruption as the kingdom seeks to diversify its oil-dependent economy.

In a recent interview with The New York Times, Prince Mohammed described the reports “ludicrous” that equated the crackdown to a power grab, saying many of those detained at the opulent Ritz-Carlton had already pledged allegiance to him.

The attorney general said the bank accounts of 376 people have been frozen, all of whom are detained or linked to corruption allegations.

Saudi forces also grounded private jets at airports, possibly to prevent high-profile figures from leaving the country, an aviation source told AFP.

The purge has triggered uncertainty among businesses that it could lead to capital flight or derail reforms, experts say, at a time when the kingdom is seeking to attract badly-needed investments to offset a protracted oil slump.


7 replies

  1. If Saudi Arabia would not waste all that money on the war in Yemen there would be no need of this kind of highway robbery.

  2. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has to pay a high price for his tweets against the now President Trump. (It is clear that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Talal would not dare this action without approval from the big boss over there).

  3. Trump is a chosen President by God. He will punish severely hypocrites, the extremist Muslim around the world. Like or dislike God use Trump for God’s plan.

    And among those Arab who are around you there are hypocrites, and among the people of Madinah as well. They are adamant on hypocrisy. You do not know them. We know them. We will chastise them twice, then they shall be driven to a terrible punishment (in the Hereafter). QS 9;101.

    Let see, so far is good.

    • Somi is blind: Trump is supporting the biggest hypocrite: Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.

  4. Somi Tempo must have drunk the Trump Kool Aid. Trump is a buffoon, a sex pervert, a pseudo-Nazi, a serial adulterer and only cares about Trump. That’s only the beginning. At least one-third of America would like to see Trump impeached. At least half of America just wants him to go away. He is such an embarrassment for the US. Please do not put his name and God in the same sentence. If anything Trump is a test from God to see what righteous people do in the face of tyranny.

  5. @ Rose—do not misunderstood me, I am not Trump’s fan, but I believe that God has chosen Trump as President of USA. God use Trump on earth to punish and defeat the dangerous extremist Muslim around the world and punish the hypocrites keaders. The peaceful Muslim should appreciate to the Trump’s effort. The extremist Muslim are our enemy too. Those who do not support Trump to defeat the extremist Muslim they are pretending peaceful Muslim, acrually they are the extremist Muslim who support terrorist isis and Taliban.

    It is very simple.

    • May be God has chosen Trump as President as a punishment for the stupid people who voted for him. Just see: with the tax revision the majority of the Americans just lost a lot, only the few benefit, the friends of Trump and Trump himself. – It is well documented that the US armed ISIS and urgend the Saudis and Qataris to finance them.

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