Dozens of princes, ministers and former ministers have been detained by Saudi Arabia’s Anti-Corruption Committee.
According to Al Arabiya TV on Saturday, the committee, headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was formed by royal decree earlier in the day. The report added that four current ministers were also arrested as part of the so-called anti-corruption efforts.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has dismissed several senior ministers, including those in charge of the kingdom’s National Guard, economy, and planning.
According to Saudi media, billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal was also among those detained.
A Saudi aviation source also noted that security forces had grounded private jets in Jeddah to stop any high-profile figures from departing the country.
Those dismissed on Saturday include Economy Minister Adel Fakeih, who was replaced by his deputy Mohammed al-Tuwaijri, and National Guard Chief Prince Meteb bin Abdullah, who was replaced by Khaled bin Ayyaf.The changes happen just months after Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud substituted his nephew Mohammed bin Nayef with his son Mohammed bin Salman as the crown prince.
The cabinet shift corresponds with a “pattern of accelerated change” which began with Mohammed bin Salman becoming heir to the Saudi throne, said economic analyst Ian Black.
“We’ve seen since June this year, very far-reaching changes… That was when Mohammed bin Salman, the son of King Salman, was appointed crown prince,” he added.
“Since Mohammed bin Salman became the crown prince in June, we’ve seen a lot of upheaval. We’ve seen the announcement of this very ambitious Saudi plan to transform the country the Saudi economy, Vision 2030,” he noted.