Publicado: Mar, Noviembre 07, 2017
Negocios | By Lorenzo Cobo

Saudi Arabia purge widens with 'arrest, no-fly list'

Saudi Arabia purge widens with 'arrest, no-fly list'

Prince Miteb was replaced by a lesser known royal, Prince Khalid bin Ayyaf al-Muqrin, to head the National Guard- a prestigious force tasked with protecting the royal family, as well as important holy sites in Mecca and Medina, and oil and gas sites. His removal consolidates the crown prince's control of the kingdom's security institutions.

On the business front, the prince was named the head of a new anti-corruption commission, established by royal decree, late Saturday.

West Texas Intermediate for December delivery advanced as much as 36 cents to $56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was trading at $55.86 as of 2 Hong Kong. The detentions were headline news on Al Arabiya, a Saudi-owned news channel.

A government official gave AFP a list of 14 of the most high-profile names including Prince Al-Waleed, ranked among the richest men in the world. In the Washington Post newspaper, Saudi reporter Jamal Kashoggi wrote that the Saudi royals usually share power and rule by consent.

In the short run, however, the scale of change may prompt businesses to pause before committing more in the biggest Arab economy. Mohammed bin Salman has an opportunity to unify, for the first time, the hitherto-disparate military and security structures in Saudi Arabia, and strengthen further his grip on power.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal's Kingdom Holding Co. said in a statement Monday that it has the government's "vote of confidence" as it pursues its investment strategy and global business operations. Saudi Arabia's journey began more recently, but the country has set very aggressive targets for the levels of foreign direct investment it wants to attract, particularly into its industrial and technology sectors.

Some analysts believe the arrests are designed to consolidate the power of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and further smooth his eventual succession to the throne. It's not like he was being challenged.

Without naming those arrested, the Attorney General's office said "the suspects are being granted the same rights and treatment as any other Saudi citizen". Caty Weaver was the editor.

Saudi authorities hailed the dramatic crackdown as a bold initiative to root out corruption.

Skeptics of the sweep say it is punishing select figures in the country, some of whom were potential rivals or possible critics of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who heads the anti-corruption committee that was formed late Saturday shortly before the arrests.

These high-profile arrests send a powerful message, said the Saudi official. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $6.31 to January WTI. "Fighting corruption is always popular". A Saudi-led coalition launched a war against the Houthi rebels and their allies in March 2015 that grinds on today.

The government has announced new trials with as many as 320 defendants, including some already acquitted by local courts.

The young prince has risen from near obscurity to become Saudi Arabia's most talked about and powerful prince in the less than three years since his father ascended to the throne. The accusations could not be confirmed independently.

For the hard decisions, "We need the support of the majority of the people", he said.

Kristian Coates Ulrichsen is a fellow for the Middle East at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy and the author of four books on the political economy and international relations of Gulf states.

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