Saudi Arabia pressing billionaire prince to fork out $6 billion: Report

Saudi Arabian authorities are reportedly pressuring a billionaire prince whom they have detained as part of a purge to pay up a whopping USD six billion to secure his release.

Dozens of princes, ministers, and former ministers were detained last month on the orders of Saudi Arabia’s so-called Anti-Corruption Committee, which is headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The detained individuals are facing corruption allegations but are widely believed to have been victims of a political purge.

Citing people familiar with the issue, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, a billionaire nephew of late King Abdullah, is now being pressured to pay USD six billion to be released.

His fortune is estimated by Forbes to stand at USD 18.7 billion, which would make him the Middle East’s richest person. His Kingdom Holding, a Riyadh-based investment holding company, owns stakes in hotels like The Four Seasons, Fairmont and Raffles, as well as companies such as News Corp., Disney, 21st Century Fox, Citigroup, GM, Twitter, and Apple.