Cash in hand corruption settlements for Saudi Arabia's elite

Other | Saturday 27th January 2018 | Claudia

Saudi Arabia's elite were detained and arrested in November in an anti-corruption clean up. However, cash in hand settlements have been exchanged since then, which has seen many accused released as a consequence.    

Waleed al-Ibrahim the head of the MBC’s TV network and Khalid al-Tuwaijri a chief of the royal court were amongst a few who had to pay a substantial fee to guarantee their release. Though it's not exactly clear how many of those convicted have paid their way to freedom, it is said that more than 200 princes, politicians, and businessmen were arrested in the cleanup.


Media reports have suggested that the Waleed al-Ibrahim deal possibly included his controlling share in MBC one of the largest middle eastern companies.

All detained have been held at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Riyadh, so there's no telling what kind of inhuman treatment the rich and powerful were subjected to. I mean using 5-star hotel suites as a prison has got to have already violated about a dozen Geneva conventions. Maybe possible conspiracies to swap lunch for brunch went down. Ah, the horror! 

Whatever speculations we make all that's known is that Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, who was set free at the end of November, paid more than £750m. Prince Mohammed bin Salman was the driving force in this anti-corruption cleanse, with some critics accusing Prince Salman of instigating these investigations to remove competition and consolidate his power.    

The attorney general has since come out saying that at least £76bn had been misused through systemic corruption. These detentions and settlements are said to be attempts to recover lost funds.

King Salman (left) talks to his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Detainees remain at the Ritz Carlton are under tight security until the reopening on Valentines. But anyone who fails to reach a proposed settlement before then will be sent to prison to await trial. I guess it's not all doom and gloom though, detainees may receive a few Valentine letters, or settlement bills, who knows.