- A photograph obtained by a British news outlet claims that it was of the arrested Saudi princes and businessmen who have been imprisoned in Ritz Carlton Riyadh
- While no faces can be seen in the photograph circulating, Saudi government source say that the men on thin mattresses include Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, a prince himself
- This comes after the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia ordered the arrest and lockdown of top government officials and princes of the royal family as part of a corruption probe
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman created quite a stir when he announced the arrest of some prominent members of the Saudi royal family. It came right after the death of Prince Mansour bin Moqren, the deputy governor of Asir province and son of a former crown prince in a helicopter crash in Yemen a week ago.
A new anti-corruption commission has been established to keep the members of the royal family and senior officials in check. The commission has arrested 11 princes, including a prominent billionaire. Among those arrested are Prince Miteb bin Abdullah who headed the National Guard and replaced the Economy Minister and billionaire tycoon Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a major investor in Apple, Twitter, Citigroup and many other international companies. It is reported that the Prince Salman sees them as potential threats to his coming onto the throne.
Now DailyMail claims to have got an exclusive image from Ritz Carlton Riyadh where the princes are being kept under arrest. The luxury hotel features 52 acres of landscaped gardens, six restaurants, a bowling alley, an indoor pool, two grand ballrooms and a gentlemen’s-only spa, according to the property’s website. The image shows men bundled under blankets sleeping on bare mattresses on the floor of one of the function rooms in the hotel.
Saudi government sources confirm to the website that one among those sleeping is billionaire tycoon Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who is a nephew of the King. The picture is being termed as humiliation of these princes and billionaires who once lived a life of comfort and possessed a lot of power and wealth.
While the act sent shockwaves in Saudi Arabia, US President Donald Trump tweeted in support of Prince Salman saying: 'Some of those they are harshly treating have been “milking” their country for years!'
Since there is no jail for royals in Saudi Arabia, it is suspected that these men were put up in the five-star hotel where though they had velvet curtained windows and expensive chandeliers above their heads, their beds of satin were exchanged with barely there mattresses. The imprisonment seems to be a sign to the world on – who is in charge.
Among further developments in the case, the Saudi information ministry said in a statement that there was "no truth" in rumours circulating online that another prince, Prince Abdulaziz bin Fahd, a son of the late king Fahd, had been killed resisting arrest on Saturday night.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:55 PM IST