Saudi Arabia’s richest man has been moved from the hotel he was being detained in and thrown in jail after refusing to pay the government £728million.
Saudi billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was arrested two months ago in what the Saudi government called an ‘anti-corruption sweep’.
His situation worsened earlier this week when he was moved from his restricted quarters at the Riyadh Ritz Carlton Hotel to the high security Al Ha’ir prison.
Prince Alwaleed’s leverage to demand a trial or negotiate a deal is dwindling by the day.
He has for the last two months been held at the Riyadh Ritz with 200 other princes and top officials.
That number dwindled after many former detainees capitulated to the new Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Alwaleed bin Talal was one of the few who held out, reports CNBC. Reports suggest he may have been hung upside down and beaten during this time.
He reportedly refused to pay the £728million bin Salman demanded from him, as well as declining to hand over control of some of his investment companies.
Prince bin Salman came to power last summer. Straight away he began his ‘anti-corruption sweep’, arresting members for the royal family as well as influential officials.
He has since invested heavily in Saudi Arabia’s military defences against Iran. He also took moves to strengthen ties with the US and Israel, moving to purge to country of anti-Semitic and anti-American Islamic clerics.
The arrest and subsequent incarceration of the 200 princes and top officials – potential roadblocks to his power grab – came as part of his economic reforms.
Earlier this week the Saudi government seized the Binladen construction group and arrested some of the Bin Laden family – relatives of Osama Bin Laden.
Reuters reported the government took over managerial control and may also erase the £21billion in debt it owes to the company. Prince bin Salman has so far avoided condemnation from allies in the Trump administration and elsewhere.
Source Credit: Daily Mail