ePaper

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Billionaire prince ‘in talks’ with Saudi govt

  • Print
Saudi Arabia's billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, detained for over two months in an anti-corruption crackdown, is negotiating a possible settlement with authorities but so far has not agreed on terms, a senior Saudi official said.

Prince Alwaleed, whose net worth has been estimated by Forbes magazine at $17 billion, is chairman and owner of international investment firm Kingdom Holding, and one of the country's most prominent businessmen.

"He offered a certain figure but it doesn’t meet the figure required from him, and until today the attorney-general hasn’t approved it," the official said on condition of anonymity under government briefing rules.

A second source familiar with Prince Alwaleed's case told Reuters on Saturday that he had offered to make a "donation" to the Saudi government, which would avoid any admission of wrongdoing, and to do so from assets of his own choosing. But the government refused those terms, the source said.

Since early November Prince Alwaleed has been held, with dozens of other members of Saudi Arabia's political and business elite detained in the crackdown, in Riyadh's opulent Ritz Carlton hotel as authorities seek to reach settlements with the detainees.

Saudi officials say they aim to claw back some $100 billion of funds that rightfully belong to the state. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who launched the crackdown, has indicated he wants to close existing cases quickly and expects most suspects to cut a deal.

The allegations against Prince Alwaleed include money laundering, bribery and extorting officials, a Saudi official told Reuters soon after his detention. Neither he nor his company has commented publicly on the charges.
Kingdom Holding, which has said it is continuing to operate normally, did not respond to requests for comment when asked about any settlement talks.

Construction giant Saudi Binladin Group said on Saturday that some of its shareholders might transfer part of their holdings to the state in a settlement with authorities. Chairman Bakr Bin Laden and several family members were detained in the crackdown.

In late November, senior Saudi Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, once seen as a leading contender to the throne, was freed after reaching a settlement with authorities that involved paying more than $1 billion, according to a Saudi official.

More News For this Category

Migrants 'caravan' arrive at US-Mexico border

| By Asian Age Online
Dozens of Central American migrants from about 600 travelling in a "caravan" through Mexico arrived at the border city of Tijuana late on Tuesday
Migrants 'caravan' arrive at US-Mexico border

Trump, Macron mull new Iran nuclear deal

| By
US President Donald Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron have suggested there could be a new agreement on Iran's nuclear programme.
Trump, Macron mull new Iran nuclear deal

Boko Haram attacks leave 21 dead

| By
Suspected Boko Haram militants killed 21 people in separate attacks in a remote northeastern region of Nigeria.The militants shot dead 18 forest workers who had been collecting firewood in

Hillary attacks Trump for all-out war on truth, facts

| By
Hillary Clinton has excoriated Donald Trump, telling an audience in New York press rights and free speech are "under open assault" under an administration she compared to an authoritarian
Hillary attacks Trump for all-out war on truth, facts

Quake in south-east Turkey injures 39

| By
An earthquake struck Turkey's south-eastern province of Adiyaman early on Tuesday, injuring 39 people and damaging buildings, state-run Anadolu news agency reported. The US Geological Survey (USGS)  said the

Russia and China seek international support for Iran nuclear deal

| By
Russia and China are asking UN member states to back a draft statement expressing"unwavering support" for the Iran nuclear deal, a senior Russian diplomat said on Tuesday, in a

New Zealand cinema bans pyjamas and onesies

| By Asian Age Online
A cinema in New Zealand has banned people from wearing pyjamas, onesies and dirty boots to screenings, in a move designed to raise dress
New Zealand cinema bans pyjamas and onesies

Suspected Waffle House gunman arrested

| By Asian Age Online
A man suspected of killing four people at a Waffle House in Tennessee has been arrested by police in Nashville.
Suspected Waffle House gunman arrested

Australian boy, 12, flies to Bali after row

| By Asian Age Online
Australian police say they will review how a 12-year-old boy travelled alone to Bali after he had a row with his parents and used
Australian boy, 12, flies to Bali after row

US plans to end work permits for H-1B holders' spouses

| By Asian Age Online
The Trump administration is planning to end allowing spouses of H-1B visa holders to work legally in the United States, a top federal agency official
US plans to end work permits for H-1B holders' spouses

© 2018 The Asian Age