Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a billionaire investor with large stakes in major entertainment and technology firms, has been arrested by his countrymen along with at least 10 other princes, four ministers and an uncounted number of former ministers.
The arrests were announced by Al Arabiya, the Saudi-owned government satellite network. Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding has major stakes in Fox, Time Warner, Citigroup, Twitter, Apple, Motorola and many other well-known companies, as well as several satellite television networks that are prominent in the Arab world.
Reports indicate the arrests came as part of a power struggle to consolidate the grip of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the top adviser of King Salman. At age 32, the Crown Prince is a major voice in Saudi foreign relations, military, economics and social policies, drawing grumbling from other royals.
King Salman decreed a new anti-corruption committee, headed by the crown prince, hours before the arrests. The committee’s broad powers includes freezing assets, arrests, travel bans and other areas, all part of any alleged investigation into corruption.
Prince Alwaleed has been a prominent figure in the news media, and spoke out against President Donald Trump during the last election cycle. Most recently, he decried digital currencies in interviews.