Nov 5, 2017

Ritz roundup in Riyadh

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal in 2014 Photo: Majdi Mohammed / AP

"Saudi authorities detained a billionaire global investor and the head of the National Guard as part of an anti-corruption purge that consolidates Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's hold on power," per Reuters:

  • "Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns investment firm Kingdom Holding 4280.SE, was among 11 princes, four ministers and tens of former ministers detained."
  • Why it matters: "Analysts said the goal of the purge went beyond corruption and aimed to remove potential opposition to Prince Mohammed as he pushes an ambitious and controversial reform agenda."

The $ part: "Some detainees were believed to be held at the opulent Ritz-Carlton hotel in the diplomatic quarter of Riyadh ... The hotel and an adjacent facility were the site of an international conference promoting Saudi Arabia as an investment destination last month."

  • AP: "Phone lines to the hotel have been cut off since Sunday morning. ... Marriott International said in a statement that it is currently evaluating the situation at the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh. 'As a matter of guest privacy, we do not discuss the guests or groups with whom we do business or may be visitors of the hotel."
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