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Luxury prison: Saudi princes, ministers held in a Ritz-Carlton

  • Published at 01:37 pm November 9th, 2017
Luxury prison: Saudi princes, ministers held in a Ritz-Carlton
The palatial Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh is currently acting as a temporary luxury prison for some of Saudi Arabia's political and business elite. Ironically, this comes two weeks after when an international conference was held at the hotel – promoting Saudi Arabia as an investment destination – which was attended by over 3,000 officials and business leaders. According to The New York Times, Saudi government ministers, businessmen and many royals were being held inside Ballroom B of the luxury hotel. The Times further said some VIPs have also been held in rooms at the Ritz. The hotel’s official website says its rooms are “not available for check-ins.” A new anti-corruption body led by the new Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, detained dozens of officials and tycoons – in the hope to “dismantle systems of patronage and kickbacks that have distorted the Saudi economy for decades.” However, back home, the purge comes as a shock – mainly of because the detention of billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal who is the chairman of investment firm Kingdom Holding. The other detainees include: Nasser bin Aqeel al-Tayyar, founder of the Al Tayyar Travel group; billionaire Saleh Kamel; and Bakr bin Laden, chairman of the huge Saudi Binladin construction conglomerate. According to The Guardian, demeaning a royal by putting him in prison could have implications as the society is branched into tribes. The report quotes a senior official saying: “He couldn’t have put them in the jail. And he [Crown Prince] would have known that. So this was the most dignified solution he could find.” Many view these arrests as an attempt by the Crown Prince to dismantle any opposition to his power.
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