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06 November 2017, 02:08 | Damon Campbell
Prince Alwaleed, a nephew of the king and owner of investment firm Kingdom Holding, invests in firms such as Citigroup and Twitter.
Those detained included a number of government officials including Prince Turki bin Abdullah, former governor of Riyadh province, Khalid Al Tuwaijri, former chief of the Royal Court and Ibrahim Al Assaf, former finance minister, according list published by Reuters.
Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said that "11 princes, tens of former ministers and four current ministers were arrested", but it did not disclose any names.
Earlier, Kingdom Holding reported it swung to a third quarter profit after restating the same year ago period to a loss.
Already viewed as the de facto ruler controlling all the major levers of government, from defence to the economy, Prince Mohammed is widely seen to be stamping out traces of internal dissent before a formal transfer of power from his 81-year-old father King Salman.
The purge against the kingdom's political and business elite also targeted the head of the National Guard Prince Miteb bin Abdullah who was detained and replaced as minister of the powerful National Guard by Prince Khaled bin Ayyaf. One of the world's richest men, Alwaleed has significant equity holdings in several US technology companies, as well as stakes in Saudi companies across the real estate, retail and petrochemical industries. Phone lines to the hotel have been cut off since Sunday morning.
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"People will be looking at any kind of global holdings of the people who have been arrested, to see what will be the impact".
Saudi Arabia announced on Saturday that it established a "supreme committee" to investigate public corruption.
"The homeland will not exist unless corruption is uprooted and the corrupt are held accountable", the royal decree said.
Alwaleed was giving interviews to the Western news media as recently as late last month about subjects like so-called crypto currencies and Saudi Arabia's plans for a public offering of shares in its state oil company, Aramco.
The arrests follow the king's dismissal of top ministers and a crackdown on dissidents.
The government said the anti-corruption committee has the right to issue arrest warrants, impose travel restrictions and freeze bank accounts.
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