Dec 28, 2018

McKinsey executive detained, beaten in Saudi Arabia

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: Billal Bensalem/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Hani Khoja, a partner at the American consulting firm McKinsey & Co., was arrested in the fall of 2017 by Saudi Arabian officials and has yet to be released, the Wall Street Journal reports. In recent months, he has reportedly been "beaten repeatedly."

Details: Khoja is a Saudi national, and his arrest coincided with what the Saudis labeled a sweeping crackdown on corruption. He was reportedly arrested by the Saudis because of his relationship with Adel Fakeih, the economy ministry's chief, who was also arrested.

  • Khoja became a partner at McKinsey after the firm purchased a consulting company he co-founded, Elixir Creative Solutions Co., the Journal reports, which "did work for the Saudi Ministry of Economy and Planning."
  • A spokesman for the firm told the WSJ that, as of earlier this year, Khoja is no longer an employee at McKinsey.
  • The spokesman added that the firm doesn’t know where Khoja is and was not informed that he was physically abused: “We have sought information from the authorities. We are anxious to know more and are in regular touch with Mr. Khoja’s family."
  • McKinsey has continued its work with the Saudi government despite Khoja's arrest.

The backdrop: The news comes as the world is still reeling from the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered at the Saudi consulate earlier this year.

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