Saudi businessman and royals being held by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman as part of the Kingdom’s crackdown on alleged corruption have started to make payments in exchange for their release, according Bloomberg.
The finance news agency reporting individuals with knowledge of the matter saying that some of the high profile figures being detained at the Ritz-Carlton, including Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal, are signing agreements with authorities to transfer a portion of their assets to avoid trial. The individuals, who asked not to be identified, revealed that some of the detainees have started to transfer funds from personal accounts to government-controlled accounts.
Last week the Financial Times (FT) reported that Bin Salman was negotiating a settlement deal in which prisoners were asked to hand over 70 per cent of their wealth in exchange for their release.
According to estimates by the Wall Street Journal, the purge, which saw more than 2,000 bank accounts frozen, could raise $800 billion but other estimates that appear to be based on the most high profile businessman in the country, set the figure at $100 billion.
Saudi authorities extended their crackdown by arresting the country’s second wealthiest businessman, Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi who has a duel Saudi and Ethiopian nationality.
Al-Amoudi has a very large business portfolio in Ethiopia, his detention, according to analysts could potentially destabilise the economy of an entire country.