Saudi Arabia reshuffles cabinet after ministers detained

Earlier this evening ahead of the arrests Prince Mohammed established the anti-corruption commission by royal decree

Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb did not acknowledge the arrests or name any suspects, but The Associated Press has reported that billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and other senior royals, military officers, businessmen and ex-ministers have been detained and are being held in five-star hotels across the capital, Riyadh.

According to reports Billionaire-prince Alwaleed Bin Talal is one of the eleven princes arrested on 04 November, along side four current ministers and tens of former ministers, in anti-corruption inquiry in Saudi Arabia.

The arrests follow the king's dismissal of top ministers and a crackdown on dissidents.

Other detainees include Alwaleed al-Ibrahim, owner and chairman of Dubai-based Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC), which is the Arab world's leading satellite television network.

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"The homeland will not exist unless corruption is uprooted and the corrupt are held accountable", the royal decree said.

Saudi nationals have long complained of rampant corruption in government and of public funds being squandered or misused by people in power.

Prince Miteb bin Abdullah is reportedly among those detained in the sweep, as is his brother, Prince Turki bin Abdullah, who was once governor of Riyadh. While numerous suspects were not named, Reuters reports, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah was ousted as minister of the National Guard and replaced by a lower-level prince who held a position with the guard, Khalid bin Ayyaf al-Muqrin.

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.

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Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, a research fellow at the James A Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, told the Associated Press the arrests were created to further smooth the crown prince's eventual succession to the throne.

Prince Mansour is the son of Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, a former director-general of the Saudi Intelligence Agency and a one-time crown prince of the kingdom.

Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah was relieved of his post as minister of the National Guard and replaced by Khaled bin Ayyaf, while Economy Minister Adel Fakieh was replaced by his deputy Mohammed al Tuwaijri.

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