Tags: Saudi Arabia | Prince Alwaleed bin Talal | Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Saudi Arabia's Richest Man Finds He Has No Friends After Arrest

Saudi Arabia's Richest Man Finds He Has No Friends After Arrest

Saudi billionaire Prince AlWaleed bin Talal (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed, File)

By    |   Saturday, 13 January 2018 11:59 AM

Saudi Arabia's wealthiest man, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, is running out of friends and time, but is still refusing to pay a hefty fee or cede control of his holdings to new Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to secure his freedom.

Bin Talal was moved this past week from his restricted quarters at the Riyadh Ritz Carlton Hotel, where he had been held for the past two months after he was arrested during an "anti-corruption" sweep waged by the Saudi government, notes CNBC senior columnist Jake Novak in an opinion piece.

He and about 200 of his fellow princes and top officials were held at the Ritz after the sweeps, but just a few prisoners remain, as most of those detained bought their way out through payments to bin Salman.

Bin Talal, though, is refusing to pay the $6 billion bin Salman wants, along with control of some of his investment companies, notes Novak. Meanwhile, his influential friends have been quiet about his being detained.

There has been a statement made from two former French presidents on his behalf, but that is "peanuts," said Novak.

The new crown prince came into power last summer, and has since been building up Saudi Arabia's defenses against Iran, but in November had bin Talal and the other officials arrested, while the government has been seizing billions in assets from them and several major Saudi companies.

"It's not that many of the crown prince's goals aren't prudent or even admirable," Novak wrote. "But the matter of human rights is being pushed aside. So is due process."

Meanwhile, bin Talal is in prison while the government has been taking cash and assets from several entities, but there has been no significant protests or support coming from his overseas friends.

Bin Salman has also been on a spending spree, notes Novak, including the purchases of art, a yacht and a French chateau.

"None of this very public behavior is drawing public rebuke from the crown prince's friends in Trump administration and elsewhere," Novak wrote. "They are clearly okay with the ends justifying whatever means he's using to modernize the country and strengthen its ability to oppose Iran."

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Saudi Arabia's wealthiest man, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, is running out of friends and time, but is still refusing to pay a hefty fee or cede control of his holdings to new Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to secure his freedom.Bin Talal was moved this past week from...
Saudi Arabia, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
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2018-59-13
Saturday, 13 January 2018 11:59 AM
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