Nov 10th, 2017, 05:41 PM

Royal Rumble of Saudi Arabia

By Ian Tillotson
Image credit: Flickr/Girdhar Gopal
Here is a day by day overview of the corruption crackdown.

Saudi Arabia has been dominating the headlines since the beginning of November. Over 500 people have been arrested, this total including princes and ministers, on charges of mismanagement of government funds. Being in the international eye, even Donald Trump chimed in to give his opinion on the corruption crackdown. 

November 4, 2017


The "World's most luxurious prison", the Ritz-Carlton where the arrested are being held. Image Credit: Pixabay/rtrzc12

The monarchy is rocked by a recent corruption crackdown when Prince Alwaleed bin Tahal was arrested on charges of corruption and mismanagement of public funds. The crackdown is spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the current heir of King Salman. 

In an article by the New York Times, the move is met with public approval, as many members of the lower and middle class feel dissatisfaction with how the government is managing funds. The arrested consists so far of eleven crown princes, four ministers, and various other officials now totalling to 500 people. The exceptionally wealthy arrested are being held at the Ritz-Carlton, now dubbed as the  “World’s most luxurious prison”. The Crown Prince defends the move, saying that “it’s the only dignified solution." 

November 6, 2017 

This move has been praised by US president Donald Trump, who commented via Twitter that 

November 7,2017

Some experts think the purge is a method to consolidate power to those in line with the Crown Prince. Katherine Dixon, a researcher at Transparency International (an anti-corruption organization that works with the UN) said to the New York Times “Using state resources for your own ends is still O.K. if you are part of the right faction or clique, but because corruption is what people care about, it is used as a public rallying cry to justify a crackdown.”

There are other economic impacts to the purge. It has a significant impact on Saudi Arabia's oil exports. Since the crackdown, the price has gone to $64 a barrel, the highest since the summer of 2015.

November 8, 2017 

According to Fortune Magazine, the predicted estimate of assets seized by the corruption crackdown is $800 Billion.

November 9, 2017

The UAE Central bank inquired private banks and financial corporations on 19 different Saudi clients, showing that the crackdown has regional support. As of November 9th, the Saudi Index TASI dropped by one point.

November 13, 2017


Image Credit: Flickr/U.S. Department of State

According to Reuters, U.N. speaker for Saudi Arabia announces that all detained will get due process, but declined to tell the U.N. an exact figure on the final arrest figures. Human Rights Watch demand the "legal and evidentiary basis for each person's detention and make certain that each person detained can exercise their due process rights."

The crackdown is continuing and there is little indication of it stopping anytime soon.  To follow the story find real-time updates from Al-Jeezera.