Riyadh Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman,
Pune 09 Nov 2017 (PCP NEWS) : The Saudi Purge Isn’t Just a Power Grab, It makes sense to be cynical about Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s ostensible crackdown on corruption in Saudi Arabia. Among the 11 princes, 4 ministers, and dozens of well-known businessmen arrested were some of the 32-year-old’s last potential rivals to the Saudi throne. The move also smacks of an asset snatch. Police nabbed 3 of the Arab world’s 10 richest men, including Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
The prince’s unprecedented arrest of a who’s who of Saudi society is a first stab at fulfilling his vow to hold the corrupt accountable. “I confirm to you, no one will survive in a corruption case—whoever he is, even if he’s a prince or a minister,” Prince Mohammed said in a televised interview . The vow has now become a Twitter sensation among Saudis under the age of 30, who make up 70 percent of the population, the demographic bulge the prince has made his base. They’re still plenty skeptical of Prince Mohammed and his father the king, who recently visited Moscow with 1,500 retainers, his own carpets, and a golden escalator for his Boeing 747.
In total, the government froze bank accounts of the more than three dozen men detained, putting about 33 billion Dollars of personal wealth at risk. Three of the detainees, Alwaleed among them, owns three of the largest privately held television networks in the country. Saudi authorities also moved to freeze the private accounts of hundreds more suspected of corruption but not yet arrested. The crackdown is Prince Mohammed’s strongest blow yet at the rentier state, the system of gatekeepers, sinecures, and handouts that’s sapped the incentive in Saudi Arabia for entrepreneurship to flourish, the prince has said.
This is a man of dead-certain belief in himself, who told in an interview in April 2016 that his childhood experiences among princes and potentates were more valuable and formative than Steve Jobs’s, Mark Zuckerberg’s, and Bill Gates’s. So, he wondered aloud, “if I work according to their methods, what will I create?” Now we know his disruptive potential. PCP/SDJ 17 30