Billionaire Fox and Apple Investor Reportedly Arrested in Saudi Arabia Corruption Crackdown

Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal - Getty - H 2017
Jason Lee/ Pool/ Getty Images

Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal was arrested Saturday in connection with a sweeping anti-corruption initiative.

Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, a member of the country's royal family and an investor in Fox and Apple and other media companies, was arrested Saturday in connection with a sweeping anti-corruption initiative, according to CNBC. Bin Talal regularly appears on the cable news network offering investment advice.

According to the report, Saudi Arabian King Salman also removed several other prominent officials. Saudi-based outlet Al Arabiya and The Wall Street Journal were the first to report bin Talal was among those detained. 

Bin Talal also has invested in U.S. corporate entities Citigroup, 21st Century Fox and Twitter, among others.

Per the Associated Press, the Al-Arabiya news channel also reported late Saturday that 11 princes and dozens of former ministers were detained in the anti-corruption probe headed by the kingdom's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who also was named to oversee the new committee.

Al-Arabiya reported that a newly formed anti-corruption committee is looking into the devastating and deadly floods that overwhelmed parts of the city of Jiddah in 2009 and is investigating the Saudi government's response to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus that has killed several hundred people over the past few years.

Meanwhile, the kingdom's top council of clerics issued a statement saying it is an Islamic duty to fight corruption — essentially giving religious backing to the high-level arrests being reported.

The government said the anti-corruption committee has the right to issue arrest warrants, impose travel restrictions and freeze bank accounts. It can also trace funds, prevent the transfer of funds or the liquidation of assets and take other precautionary measures until cases are referred to the judiciary.

The royal order said the committee was established "due to the propensity of some people for abuse, putting their personal interest above public interest, and stealing public funds."

Saudi nationals have long complained of rampant corruption in government and of public funds being squandered or misused by people in power.