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What’s behind the purge of Saudi Arabia’s billionare prince?
wtimes   |   2018. 02. 07 17:25   |  
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The world is carefully observing the arrestment of Saudi Arabia’s billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, who was arrested in the process of purging the opposition forces in Saudi Arabia. He was arrested alongside a few princes and several government ministers. The Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has proclaimed the process of arrestment necessary, in order to purge the current severe corruption going in the country. However, the arrestment of Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal and other Saudi potentates is perceived to be more about consolidating power than purging the corruption.

Alwaleed Bind Talal: Arabia’s ‘Warren Buffett’ and ‘Outsider?’

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Prince Alwaleed is one of Saudi Arabia’s best-known international businessmen as an investor in firms such as Citigroup, Twitter, Lyft, the Four Seasons Hotels, and Apple, among other global companies. Moreover, he owns the investment firm Kingdom Holding, which is worth approximately $10 billion and is well known to be one of the wealthiest men in the world. Times expressed him as ‘Arabia’s Warren Buffett’ when he started to make a huge profit from his investment in Apple and Netscape. Bind Talal is best-known in the global financial system, but is interestingly rather an outsider in the royal family of Saudi Arabia. He revolted against the oppressed atmosphere of his own country, and tried to protest by expressing his honest feelings about the problems. In September, he announced that a ban on women driving would be lifted and he will always try to break the conservative tradition going on for decades by promoting public entertainment and visits by foreign tourists. These kind of consistent demands for the country’s reform placed him in on the government’s blacklist.

So, what’s really behind the purge?

According to the New York Times, the official Saudi news agency Al Arabiya explained that the Crown Prince’s

“anticorruption committee has the right to investigate, arrest, ban from travel, or freeze the assets of anyone it deems corrupt.” The Saudi government said the arrests were taken as a part of a crackdown on corruption, but it does appear to be a process of sweeping people off to consolidate the young crown prince’s power within the Saudi state. We can assume that the goal of the purge was aimed to remove potential opposition to Prince Mohammed, since the young Crown Prince is trying hard to push an ambitious and controversial reform agenda. 

A special connection between Trump and Bin Talal 

As a leading figure in the economic circles was suddenly arrested, the world is focusing on the impact on major global corporate investments. The prospect of foreign investments that Bin Talal was making progress are hesitating to move on. As I mentioned above, since Bin Talal is a prominent investor with stakes in companies like Citigroup, Apple and Twitter and other companies in the United States, President Donald Trump was asked to request for mediation by the CEOs of many corporations. Actually, Trump has ties to both the Crown Prince Bin Salman and the arrested billionaire investor Bin Talal. Between 1991 and 1995, Bin Talal came to the rescue of Trump, whose estate empire was in trouble at that time. It looks like this arrestment of this billionaire can have a detrimental effect on numerous major investments and corporations.                                                




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