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It’s being called an anti-corruption operation, but the true purpose for a stunning array of arrests made by a task force led by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was to clear away any opposition to his ascension to the thrown.
The orders came down from King Salman. This anti-corruption committee’s scope is wide and effectively unchecked. So far 11 princes, four ministers, and dozens of former ministers have been arrested.
“Laws will be applied firmly on everyone who touched public money and didn’t protect it or embezzled it, or abused their power and influence,” King Salman said in comments shown on state TV. “This will be applied on those big and small, and we will fear no one.”
Corruption is easy to find and exists pretty much everywhere, making it the ideal tool through which the crown can purge anyone who may be a roadblock to King Salman’s favorite son, 32-year-old Prince Mohammed, from taking control of the Arab nation. “MBS,” as Prince Mohammed is often called, now has a clear shot to the throne when his 81-year-old father dies.
Nobody seemed exempt from the purge as the King’s nephew, Prince Alwaleed, was among those arrested. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the richest men in the world, was also arrested.
This is an important developing story that is not getting enough attention in the U.S. media. We will be updating this story and adding more regularly.
Saudi Purge Sees Senior Princes, Top Billionaire Detained – Bloomberg
King Salman had already sidelined other senior members of the royal family to prevent any opposition to the crown prince, 32-year-old Prince Mohammed, known as MBS among diplomats and journalists, who replaced his elder cousin, Muhammed bin Nayef, in June. That maneuver removed any doubt of how succession plans will unfold following the reign of King Salman, now 81.
“The hardline approach is risky because it will solidify the dislike many powerful Saudis have for the crown prince, but it is likely that MBS succeeds, and emerges from this episode more empowered,” Hani Sabra, founder of Alef Advisory, a Middle East political risk practice, wrote in a note. “We can’t confidently project when a leadership transition will take place, but today’s developments are a signpost that MBS is moving toward the role of king. ”
Saudi Arabia Arrests 11 Princes, Including Billionaire Waleed bin Talal
The king had decreed the creation of a powerful new anticorruption committee, headed by the crown prince, only hours before the committee ordered the arrests.
Al Arabiya said that the anticorruption committee has the right to investigate, arrest, ban from travel or freeze the assets of anyone it deems corrupt.
Two Saudi ministers and navy chief replaced, crown prince leads new anti-graft committee | Arab News
The Commander of the Navy, Adm. Abdullah Al-Sultan, was relieved of his position and replaced by Fahad Al-Ghofaili, who is promoted to the rank of Admiral.
King Salman also ordered the formation of a new anti-corruption committee headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and comprising the chairman of the Monitoring and Investigation Commission, the chairman of the National Anti-Corruption Authority, the chief of the General Audit Bureau, the Attorney General and the head of State Security.
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Should we look for Trump to try the same thing here? He is just narcissistic enough to do so, regardless of what the Constitution says.