Hours after the new anti-corruption committee, headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was formed by royal decree, 11 princes, four sitting ministers and dozens of former ministers have been detained on corruption charges.
Reports say the arrests were made after fresh investigations were launched into the 2009 Jeddah floods and the outbreak of the Mers virus which emerged in Saudi Arabia in 2012 even as those detained were not named.
Sources say Crown Prince Salman is moving to consolidate his growing power while spearheading a reform programme and while addressing an economic conference in Riyadh, he vowed to “eradicate the remnants of extremism very soon”.
Last year, Prince Mohammed unveiled a wide-ranging plan to bring social and economic change to the oil-dependent kingdom.
He also recently said the return of “moderate Islam” was key to his plans to modernise Saudi Arabia.
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