Tags: saudis | wealthy | crackdown | tortured | assets

Saudis Abused, Tortured, Even Murdered Wealthy as Assets Seized

Saudis Abused, Tortured, Even Murdered Wealthy as Assets Seized
The hallway of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the Saudi capital Riyadh, May 21, 2017. (Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 12 March 2018 08:16 AM

Influential Saudi Arabians were subject to coercion and severe physical abuse in a sweeping crackdown in their country, The New York Times is reporting.

The Saudi government had locked up hundreds of powerful businessmen in the Riyadh Ritz Carlton in what officials called an anti-corruption campaign, the newspaper said.

Many have since been released, but are forced to wear ankle bracelets to track their movements.

Targets included the influential businessmen and other powerful figures, including members of the royal family, the Times said.

Even Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the world's wealthiest men, was locked up at the Ritz, according to the newspaper. He has not revealed what happened to him at the hotel.

"It is something he wants to forget," one associate said.

Now, others are said to be living in fear of what could be next.

In order to leave the hotel detainment, those taken into custody had to give up large sums of money — estimated by the newspaper to be in the billions of dollars. In addition, many were forced to sign over to the government their real estate holdings and shares of their companies.

They had first been taken into custody in November. During the initial days, at least 17 people were sent to the hospital for physical abuse, the newspaper said.

In one case, Maj. Gen. Ali al-Qahtani, an officer in the Saudi National Guard, was found to have his neck twisted unnaturally and his body bruised and badly swollen. His skin showed burn marks that appeared to be from electric shocks, the Times said. The general was pronounced dead at a military hospital.

"All allegations of abuse and torture of those investigated during the anti-corruption proceeds are absolutely untrue," said a spokesman for the Saudi Embassy in Washington.

Meanwhile, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who is identified as the architect of the crackdown, is planning to come to the United States this month seeking American investments.

The prince just ended a visit to Great Britain and is expected in the U.S. on March 19, CNBC is reporting.

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Influential Saudi Arabians were subject to coercion and severe physical abuse in a sweeping crackdown in their country.
saudis, wealthy, crackdown, tortured, assets
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2018-16-12
Monday, 12 March 2018 08:16 AM
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