In Shocking Purge, Saudi King Arrests Billionaire Prince Bin Talal, Dozens Of Others In Cabinet Crackdown

In a shocking development, late on Saturday the Saudi press reported that prominent billionaire, member of the royal Saudi family, and one of the biggest shareholders of Citi, News Corp. and Twitter - not to mention frequent CNBC guest - Al-Waleed bin Talal, along with ten senior princes, and some 38 ministers, has been arrested for corruption and money laundering charges on orders from the new anti-corruption committee headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, while Royal princes’ private planes have been grounded.

Among those fired and/or arrested are the head of National Royal Guards, Miteb Bin Abdullah, the Minister of Economy and Planning, Adel Fakeih, and Admiral Abdullah bin Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Sultan, the Commander of the Saudi Naval Forces.

As the local press further adds, the supreme committee chaired by Crown Prince and billionaire stops "on charges of money laundering."

al-Waleed bin Talal is perhaps best known not only for his periodic CNBC appearances, but for his recurring on and off spats with president Trump:

According to al Arabiya, among those sacked and/or arrested are Moteib Bin Abdullah, Minister of the National Guard, and Prince Khalid bin Ayyaf has been appointed as his replacement. A second Royal Order was issued to relieve Minister of Economy and Planning, Adel al-Faqieh, from his duties, and the appointment of Mohammed Al Tuwaijri as Minister of Economy and Planning.

According to a Royal Decree issued by King Salman on Saturday the anti-corruption committee is chaired by the Crown Prince with the membership of: Chairman of the Monitoring and Investigation Commission, Chairman of the National Anti-Corruption Authority, Chief of the General Audit Bureau, Attorney General and Head of State Security.

As Saudi analysts were quick to point out, the purge by the Saudi King means that King Abdallah’s last remnants (Riyad firmer gov. & head of Nat. Guard); media moguls; SAGIA & financial policy officials have been purged.

As Bloomberg notes, changing the head of the National Guard, an institution that’s been controlled by the clan of the late King Abdullah, “is not like changing the minister of oil,” said Kamran Bokhari, a senior analyst with Geopolitical Futures and a senior fellow with the Center for Global Policy. “I wouldn’t be surprised if this leads to greater fissures within the royal family.”

Arabiya adds that King Salman also issued sacking and replacement orders for Admiral Abdullah bin Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Sultan, the Commander of the Naval Forces, is to be terminated and be retired; his replacement is Vice Admiral Fahd bin Abdullah Al-Ghifaili, to be promoted to the rank of admiral and be appointed as Commander of the Naval Forces.

Additionally, Minister of Economy and Planning Adel al-Faqieh was replaced by Mohammed al-Tuwaijri, SPA said, quoting a royal decree. Commander of the Saudi Navy, Abdullah al-Sultan, was replaced with Fahad al-Ghafli. The king also replaced Minister of Economy and Planning Adel Fakeih withMohammad Al Tuwaijri, his deputy.

Al Tuwaijri, formerly vice minister for economy and planning, had already played a key role in shaping Saudi economic and fiscal policy over the past year. Before joining the government in May 2016 he was Middle East chief executive for HSBC. He’s served as a frequent spokesman for the government’s economic reform plan on TV and with Western journalists.

King Salman also issued an decree forming an anti-corruption committee headed by the crown prince. Its powers include the ability to trace funds and assets, and prevent their transfer or liquidation on behalf of individuals or entities, along with the right to take any precautionary actions until cases are referred to relevant investigatory or judiciary authorities, according to a government statement.

The committee’s formation was deemed necessary “due to the propensity of some people for abuse, putting their personal interest above public interest, and stealing public funds,” the Royal Order said.

Some more cynical observers noted how MBS is quickly learning from XIi Jinping "how to get rid of enemies under justification of "corruption commission" & place "friendlies" in high places."

Others arrested include Walid bin Talal; Khaled Tuweijri; AlWalid Ibrahim; Turki Bin Naser; and others.

Putting the arrests in context, the heads of the main three Saudi owned TV networks were arrested, Alwalid Bin Talal (Rotana), Walid Al Brahim (MBC), Saleh Kamel (ART)

As Bloomberg adds, Saudi King Salman appointed a former HSBC banker to head the country’s economy ministry and removed one of the royal family’s most prominent princes from as head of the National Guard. Separately, a number of Saudi princes and former ministers were arrested by authorities hours after the announcement of a new anti-corruption committee, with sweeping powers and headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya news service reported.

Prince Miteb, son of the late King Abdullah, was replaced as minister of the National Guard by Prince Khaled Ayyaf, according to a royal decree carried by state-run media late Saturday. Before his ouster, Prince Miteb was one of the few remaining senior princes to have survived a series of cabinet reshuffles that promoted allies of the crown prince, who is the king’s son and heir to the throne.

 

King Salman has sidelined other senior members of the royal family to prevent any opposition to the crown prince. Prince Mohammed, 32, replaced his elder cousin, Muhammed bin Nayef, as crown prince in June, a maneuver that removed any doubt of how succession plans will unfold following the reign of King Salman, now 81.

While details remain scarce about this "Saturday of the long Saudi knives" - which some have suggested may be a countercoup attempt -  DPA confirms the Al Arabiya report that three senior state officials were sacked.

Salman relieved Prince Moteib bin Abdullah of his post as minister of the National Guard, replacing him with Khaled bin Ayaf, the official Saudi news agency SPA reported. Additionally, Minister of Economy and Planning Adel al-Faqieh was replaced by Mohammed al-Tuwaijri, SPA said, quoting a royal decree. Commander of the Saudi Navy, Abdullah al-Sultan, was replaced with Fahad al-Ghafli.

No official explanation was given for the sackings.

 

In recent months, the Saudi monarch has carried out a string of reshuffles appointing young people in senior state posts. In June, Salman ousted his nephew as the crown prince and appointed his son Mohammed to become the first in line to succeed him. The monarch on Saturday ordered the creation of an anti-corruption committee led by the crown prince amid a rumoured crackdown on suspected tainted officials and royals. Mohammed, 31, is seen as the driving force behind opening up the ultra-conservative country to the outside world and weaning its economy off oil.

Furthermore, there is speculation that all private flights and VIP departures out of Saudi Arabia have been suspended temporarily, similar to what happened following the last "gentle coup" in June when Prince Mohammed (MBS), 32, replaced his elder cousin, Muhammed bin Nayef, as crown prince in June, a maneuver that removed any doubt of how succession plans will unfold following the reign of King Salman, now 81.

According to the AngryArab blog, the removal of Prince Miteb bin Abdullah as head of the National Guard, means that "this is the first time that the National Guard is not in the hand of Abdullah or his son."

That put all apparatus of the military-intelligence network in the hands of Muhammad bin Salman.  News that Al-Walid bin Talal has been arrested and accused of money laundering.  This could be a service to Trump, who hates Al-Walid: the two fought it out on twitter during the campaign although Al-Walid tried to reconcile with Trump after his election but to no avail. 

Bin Talal's arrest and the government reshuffle caps off a bizarre day for Saudi newsflow, which started with the resignation of Palestinian prime minister Saad al-Hariri, who announced he was quitting due to fears of an assassination plot, allegedly organized by Iran, followed shortly after by the Saudi defense forces intercepting a ballistic missile as it was about to strike the capital Riyadh.

To summarise today's even more bizarre Saudi news day:

  • Trump urges Aramco IPO
  • Lebanon PM resigns
  • Saudis intercept missile
  • Major cabinet reshuffle; 3 Saudi princes - who run the anti-graft committee - arrested for money-laundering
  • A total of 11 princes, >30 ministers arrested on corruption

This is a developing story.

Comments

fearnot Nov 5, 2017 6:28 PM Permalink

Smoking guns – Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Trump, and Central Bankers Saudi Central banker Chief (SAMA), Saudi Finance Minister, Chairman of Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul), CEO of Saudi Telecom, Chairman of Saudi Capital Market Authority (CMA) all met on November to discuss three main topics including the regional integration into the world economy, tapping capital markets and driving diversification in the regional macro-economic environment. I got to wonder if Alwaleed bin Talal and the others the Crown Prince Bin Salman took under custody or eliminated has something to do with throwing the petro dollar under the bus. Is the U.S. an ally of Crown Prince Bin Salman? I think not.    http://m.tradearabia.com/news/BANK_332281.html  https://www.thestreet.com/story/14365366/1/the-world-in-transition-the-gcc-board-directors-institute-hosts-its-5th-annual-chairman-summit.html  "Trump’s financial history with Saudi Arabia, which is leading the blockade, and Saudi ally the United Arab Emirates, includes the purchase of tens of millions of dollars in Trump’s real estate properties by wealthy Saudis over the years. The situation raises questions about whether the president’s personal financial relationships are dictating US policy, rather than his stated claims that he is concerned about Qatar’s alleged link to terror financing" "There is no evidence that Trump has been untruthful about his reasons to support the blockade. But the US State Department and the Pentagon – acutely aware of Qatar’s role hosting thousands of US and US-led coalition forces on a large airbase south-west of Doha – have taken different positions from the White House. A State Department spokeswoman recently said that the Saudi and UAE move against Qatar was “mystifying”." Read more "It is clear that Trump does not have many business connections to Qatar. His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, reportedly sought but failed to entice Qatari investors to help recapitalise a huge investment in a New York property – 666 Fifth Avenue – that is laden with debt. Saudi Arabia, however, has been an important partner to the president. In 1995, when Trump was struggling to make payments on one of his most important New York properties, the landmark Plaza Hotel, it was Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a Saudi prince, who came to his rescue with an investment, which relegated Trump to a minority shareholder in the property. A few years earlier, in 1991, bin Talal bought a huge yacht, the Trump Princess, from creditors at a time when Trump’s other big venture, the Atlantic City casinos, were under pressure.  It does not mean the two have always had a warm relationship. The Saudi prince fired off an angry tweet in June 2016 after then-candidate Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the country, describing the president as a “disgrace not only to the GOP but to all America”. When Trump won the presidency bin Talal congratulated him" https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/23/qatar-diplomatic-crisis-what-are-trumps-financial-links-to-the-region

SadhakaPadma Nov 5, 2017 2:07 PM Permalink

petrodolar backed by fundamental wahhabist explanation of Islam....greatest sponsor of DAESH is becoming openly fundamental fascist state of Saudi Arabia.....

obelix Nov 5, 2017 1:50 PM Permalink

"At the end of last year the BND, the German intelligence agency, published a remarkable one-and-a-half-page memo saying that Saudi Arabia had adopted “an impulsive policy of intervention”. It portrayed Saudi defence minister and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – the powerful 29-year-old favourite son of the ageing King Salman, who is suffering from dementia– as a political gambler who is destabilising the Arab world through proxy wars in Yemen and Syria."

El_Puerco Nov 5, 2017 1:37 PM Permalink

A man went in wear "full gear" went into the church and shot several rounds. Nobody has exited the church. Happened an hour ago. Gunman has gotten away in a truck. 

John Humphrey Nov 5, 2017 12:18 PM Permalink

For this country's version of a purge of corruption, we have Robert Mueller. Given his role in the Russian uranium deal, and now he's the investigator of Russian collusion, can anyone see how fucked up this investigation is? It's sad when there are two standards in which we live, the elite and then the rest of us, yet no one even tries to cover it up anymore.

fearnot Nov 5, 2017 10:58 AM Permalink

 Looks like Putin tipped of Salman King and Prince of upcoming coup attempt. Watch Saudi follow Turkey's footsteps quickly endorsing Russiacan't wait to see CNBC and Fox News and all the rest of the Zionist propganda fake news networks and rags sink too.Wall St. Give Away Bill passed during the pre Christmas Holiday break of our Boehner House and Reid Senate of 2014:http://money.cnn.com/2014/12/12/investing/congress-wall-street/index.ht… lobbied and paid to get this Omibus included with the Budget to insure its passing.Starting to look like Prince Bin Talal did not want to learn Rusian and Chinese. Maybe his English will help him explain who helped him finance a Saudi Coup Attempt.

Dickweed Wang Nov 5, 2017 10:29 AM Permalink

There is an alternative explaination for this incident going around that these arrests were all related to child and other sex trafficing and the international slavery market.  Since we NEVER get the truth when something like that happens I wouldn't doubt that it's true.

viator Nov 5, 2017 9:45 AM Permalink

 -Mohammad al-Amoudi, businessman - In December 2010 Al Amoudi initiated a claim in the English High Court against Elias Kifle of the Washington, D.C.-based Ethiopian Review claiming damages for libel. In July 2011 Kifle was ordered to pay £175,000 in damages for publishing false information.The Ethiopian Review had also repeated unwarranted material relating to his family and to matters previously dealt with in the Al Amoudi v. Brisard case of 2005. M. Brisard had made serious and unwarranted allegations concerning engagement in the funding of terrorism in the wake of 9/11 but had subsequently apologised for the accusation. The judge found the statements to be untrue and stated that Al Amoudi "is implacably opposed to terrorism in all its forms”.-Saleh Kamel, businessman. New York judge last Thursday dismissed a lawsuit against Saleh Kamel and Albaraka Investment Bank. The accusations alleged they had been involved in support of the Al-Qaeda group suspected of backing the 9/11 terrorist attacks. 9/11 victims’ relatives add nearly 50 defendants to their $1 trillion lawsuit against mostly Saudi citizens and organizations. Saleh Kamel and the Dallah al-Baraka Group. [Third Amended Complaint. Thomas E. Burnett, Sr., et al. v. Al Baraka Investment and Development Corporation, et al., 11/22/2002 ] -Prince al-Waleed bin Talal - Feb. 3, New York Times: Zacarias Moussaoui, a convicted 9/11 co-conspirator, said in the prison deposition that he was directed in 1998 or 1999 by Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan to create a digital database of donors to the group. Among those he said he recalled listing in the database were Prince Turki al-Faisal, then the Saudi intelligence chief; Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, the longtime Saudi ambassador to the United States; Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, a prominent billionaire investor.-Bakr Mohammed bin Laden (brother of Osama) 9/11 victims’ relatives add nearly 50 defendants to their $1 trillion lawsuit against mostly Saudi citizens and organizations (see August 15, 2002). The suit alleges the defendants knowingly provided money and other aid to terrorists, which enabled the 9/11 attacks and other attacks to occur. Individual members of the bin Laden family, including Bakr bin Laden, Tarek bin Laden, Omar bin Laden, Abdullah Awad bin Laden, and Yeslam Binladin. The suit claims that in the early 1990s, Tarek bin Laden was the general supervisor of the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), a Saudi charity suspected of terrorist ties. [Third Amended Complaint. Thomas E. Burnett, Sr., et al. v. Al Baraka Investment and Development Corporation, et al., 11/22/2002