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Saudi government demanding billions from detained officials

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: Saudi Press Agency via AP

The Saudi government is in discussions with detained royals and businessmen to hand over huge portions of their wealth as a part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's corruption probe, per the FT. The detained officials would hand over up to 70% of their assets — perhaps totaling $300 billion — to the government in exchange for their release. The money would be put toward Saudi Arabia's mounting national deficit.

Why it matters: While the corruption probe has been welcomed by many Saudis, it has been condemned abroad as a power grab and has worried foreign investors Prince Mohammed had hoped to target in order to modernize and diversify Saudi Arabia's oil-dependent economy.