Saudi billionaire prince freed after paying settlement

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the world’s richest men, was released from detention after paying a settlement in Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on corruption, two close family associates said Saturday.

Billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was released was freed from detention after paying a settlement in Saudi Arabia's crackdown on corruption. Photo courtesy of Alwaleed Philanthropies
Billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was released was freed from detention after paying a settlement in Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on corruption. Photo courtesy of Alwaleed Philanthropies

The state prosecutor approved the 62-year-old Prince Alwaleed’s unspecified financial settlement.

In November, the billionaire was arrested and detained in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Also detained were 10 other princes, and several hundred politicians and wealthy businessmen

The crackdown was headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the son of King Salman, in a move seen as consolidating power. Saudi Arabia’s attorney general said at least $100 billion was misused in corruption and embezzlement for decades but specific arrests, charges and settlements have not been detailed.

Prince Alwaleed’s worth is estimated at $17.4 billion by Forces. His publicly held company, Kingdom Holding, has invested in real estate and companies worldwide, including doing business with fellow billionaires Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch and Michael Bloomberg.

Prince Alwaleed and Prince Mohammed are grandsons of the kingdom’s founder.

Previously released were Waleed al-Ibrahim, the main owner of the Middle East Broadcasting Center; Khalid al-Tuwaijri, the former head of the royal court; and Fawaz Alhokair, who owns a large fashion retail company.

By Allen Cone