princes

Saudi detains 4 ministers, 11 princes in anti-corruption drive

MNA International Desk: Saudi Arabia has detained four current ministers and eleven princes as part of its anti-corruption campaign, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV reported on Sunday.

Arabiya said the number of detained princes had climbed to 11. It reported earlier that 10 princes and dozens of former ministers had been detained through a new anti-corruption committee, headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which was formed by royal decree on Saturday. The suspects were not named.

However, Saudi broadcaster Al-Arabiya said fresh investigations had been launched into the 2009 Jeddah floods and the outbreak of the Mers virus which emerged in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

The new anti-corruption committee has the power to issue arrest warrants and travel bans, the state-owned Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Separately, the heads of the Saudi National Guard and the navy were replaced in a series of high-profile sackings.

SPA said King Salman had dismissed National Guard minister Prince Miteb bin Abdullah and navy commander Admiral Abdullah bin Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Sultan.

No official explanation was given for their removal. The purge comes less than two weeks after Prince Mohammed welcomed thousands of global business titans to Riyadh for an investment summit, showcasing his economic reform drive for a post-oil era.

Last year, Prince Mohammed unveiled a wide-ranging plan to bring social and economic change to the oil-dependent kingdom.

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