TEHRAN (Press Shia) – One of Saudi Arabia’s most prominent businessmen and a former finance minister are among dozens detained in a probe by a new anti-corruption body, a senior Saudi official said on Sunday.
The official, who declined to be identified under briefing rules, said billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns investment firm Kingdom Holding 4280.SE, and former finance minister Ibrahim al-Assaf had been detained, Reuters reported.
Neither man nor Kingdom Holding officials could be reached immediately for comment. Aside from being one of the largest shareholders in Citigroup C.N, Kingdom owns stakes in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp (NWSA.O) and microblogging site Twitter.
Saudi King Salman announced late on Saturday the creation of the so-called anti-corruption committee chaired by his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said the body had detained 11 princes, four current ministers and tens of former ministers.
The crown prince is spearheading an ambitious economic reform program that aims to draw more foreign and private sector investment into the kingdom, which is the world’s top oil exporter and the most powerful country in the Persian Gulf Arab region.