Saudi Dismisses Rumors of Prince Shot Dead While Resisting Corruption Arrest

Published November 8th, 2017 - 08:43 GMT
Prince Abdul Aziz is "alive and well" (AFP/File)
Prince Abdul Aziz is "alive and well" (AFP/File)

 

  • Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd, 44, is "alive and well" despite claims he was shot dead
  • Some sources said the royal was "being arrested in the anti-corruption sweep"
  • It comes after a second royal, Prince Mansour bin Muqrin, died in a helicopter crash
  • The anti-corruption sting froze dozens of suspects' bank accounts worth billions

 

A Saudi prince who was thought to have been killed in a gunfight while resisting arrest as part of the kingdom's anti-corruption purge is 'alive and well,' according to the government.

Local media in the Gulf earlier reported Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd, 44, was shot dead by authorities trying to arrest him as part of the anti-corruption sweep.

"There is no truth whatsoever to rumors circulating in media concerning Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd. Prince Abdul Aziz is alive and well," the Kingdom's information ministry said.

Former FBI special agent Ali H Soufan claimed on Twitter the son of the late King Fahd had died on Sunday.

It was also reported in The Duran, who said Prince Abdul Aziz was "deeply involved" in Saudi Oger Ltd., a company that was once owned by the family of Saad Hariri who resigned as Lebanese Prime Minister on the weekend.

The company ceased trading in the summer, fuelling speculation the Saudis forced Hariri to quit.

It comes just 24 hours after of Riyadh's royals died in a helicopter crash along with government ministers.

 

 

A helicopter carrying a high-ranking Saudi prince and other government officials crashed Sunday in the kingdom's south, reportedly killing all eight people aboard.

The Saudi Interior Ministry said early Monday that the crash happened in Saudi Arabia's Asir province as the official took part in a tour of local projects near Abha, some 160 kilometers (100 miles) from the border with Yemen.

The Saudi-owned satellite news channel Al-Arabiya, based in Dubai, reported that the crash killed Prince Mansour bin Muqrin and seven others.

Prince Mansour was the deputy governor of Asir province.

He was also the son of Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, a former intelligence service director and one-time crown prince. Prince Muqrin was removed as crown prince in April 2015 by his half-brother King Salman in favor of Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, a counterterrorism czar and interior minister.

But in June, King Salman also ousted Prince Mohammed in favor of the king's 32-year-old son, the now-Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as first in line to the throne.

All these moves have cemented the young crown prince's position in power.

 

 

The arrests late Saturday of dozens of the country's most powerful princes, military officers, influential businessmen and government ministers in a purported anti-corruption campaign have further cemented his control.

Although 11 princes and 38 former government ministers have been detained in the crackdown, the anti-corruption drive is expanding further.

Saudi Arabia's central bank has ordered the detainees' accounts to be frozen but has also added dozens of names to their list, according to Bloomberg.

As a result, billions of personal wealth belonging to those arrested is at risk of being seized along with property and assets.

Saudi billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal - who is one of the richest men in the world and who owns the British capital’s top hotel the Savoy - is one of the men who have been detained.

The Saudi information ministry also stated the government would seize any asset or property related to the alleged corruption, meaning London’s Savoy hotel could become state property in the kingdom.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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