On the same day as the arrests, King Salman removed the powerful royal rival Prince Miteb bin Abdullah from his position as minister of the National Guard, giving Crown Prince Mohammed tighter control over the kingdom's security services.
In an unusually lengthy and detailed readout of the call made on Saturday, the White House said that Mr. Trump had thanked King Salman for Saudi Arabia's support in fighting terrorism and for its purchase of military equipment from the United States. Prince Alwaleed's arrest is sure to send shockwaves both through the kingdom and the world's major financial centres.
Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb did not acknowledge the arrests or name any suspects, but The Associated Press has reported that billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and other senior royals, military officers, businessmen and ex-ministers have been detained and are being held in five-star hotels across the capital, Riyadh.
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The arrest of Alwaleed and other royals further clears a path to power for the rising crown prince, who in June ousted his elder cousin, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, as interior minister and heir to the Saudi throne. He was among 11 princes, four ministers and tens of former ministers detained, three senior officials told Reuters on Sunday. The 62-year-old is one of the largest shareholders in Citigroup and also owns stakes in News Corp and Twitter. Phone lines to the hotel have been cut off since Sunday morning.
Kingdom Holding did not respond to requests for comment from The National.
Al-Arabiya reported that the committee is looking into devastating and deadly floods that overwhelmed parts of the city of Jeddah in 2009 and is investigating the Saudi government's response to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus that has killed several hundred people in the past few years.
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Police said a suicide bomber detonated at a military checkpoint in the commercial hub of Bossaso, killing at least four people. The ISIS-linked fighters split off from al Shabaab and have been posing a growing threat in Puntland.
The arrests follow the king's dismissal of top ministers and a crackdown on dissidents.
The government said the anti-corruption committee has the right to issue arrest warrants, impose travel restrictions and freeze bank accounts.
He said the Saudi Arabian leadership is "keen to protect public money and eradicate corruption, which hampers the economy and society", adding the decree was a "clear message" that no one can escape justice if they are proven to be involved in corruption.
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