Saudi Arabia Prince Miteb freed in one billion dollar deal after anti- corruption purge

Vastavam web: Saudi Arabia has freed influential Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, following a “settlement” with authorities reportedly exceeding USD 1 billion, more than three weeks after he was detained in a sweeping anti- corruption purge.The former National Guard chief was among more than 200 princes, ministers and businessmen who were rounded up earlier this month, as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman tightens his grip on power.The prince was released after paying more than USD 1 billion in a “settlement deal” with authorities, Bloomberg News cited an unnamed official as saying.
The prince was not reachable for comment.Saudi information ministry officials also could not confirm the development but posts on social media by members of the royal family suggested he had been freed.Before his arrest the 64-year-old son of the late king Abdullah was sacked as the head of the National Guard, an internal security force that has long been seen as a locus of tribal power.Some analysts saw Prince Miteb’s removal as an attempt by Prince Mohammed, who is also Saudi defence minister, to consolidate his control over the security services.
But Saudi authorities insist the purge was meant solely to target endemic corruption as the kingdom seeks to diversify its oil-dependent economy.”The apparent release of Prince Miteb may be a sign that the Saudi authorities are making progress in agreeing settlements with detainees,” said Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, a fellow at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.
“It’s an attempt to resolve the situation in a manner that minimises social fallout from the crown prince’s recent move and addresses concerns over the political risk of doing business in Saudi Arabia,” Ulrichsen told AFP.Other high-profile targets of the crackdown include billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, dubbed the Warren Buffett of Saudi Arabia.