TEHRAN, Dec. 23 (Press Shia Agency) – Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, whose fortune is estimated to be some $18.6 billion, was detained in November along with other princes and high profile Saudi officials as part of the massive anti-corruption probe launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The Wall Street Journal has published a report suggesting that the Saudi government ordered al Waleed who is allegedly held in a luxurious Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh to pay some $6 billion in exchange for his release.
However, the prince is reportedly having a behind-the-scenes contest with the authorities to avoid paying the huge sum of cash, an amount that would inflict a painful blow to his business enterprises. The prince owns the Kingdom Holding global investment company, which holds stakes in international corporations as micro-blogging platform Twitter, the ride-sharing firm Lyft, and the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.
Al Waleed, 62, is now apparently struggling to persuade the government to take a stake in his company in exchange for freedom and a chance to remain in control of his firms, according to lawyer Salah Al-Hejailan, who used to work with the prince.
An unnamed source close to the prince has said to the WSJ that al Waleed is determined to fight in the court for his wealth, giving a “hard time” to Mohammed bin Salman, who is also his cousin and one of Saudi Arabia’s most influential figures.