Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has wiped out much of the kingdom’s powerful figures in a move to consolidate power.
Mr Salman, 32, utilized his new powerful anti-corruption organization to take into custody four sitting cabinet ministers, several former ministers and 11 princes.
His father, King Salman, fired and replaced the national guard and the navy chefs.
Among those incarcerated include billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal who has major investments in US companies such as Apple, Twitter and Citigroup.
Alwaleed is one if the worlds wealthiest individuals at a net worth of $17 billion USD, according to Forbes.
Although the crown prince and kingdom officials are framing the detentions as an effort to eradicate corruption in Saudi Arabia, observers say it is a bold purge to remove any threat of rivalry or critique should his father abdicate the throne.
Riyadh, with ties to several western countries including Canada and the United States, has made an effort to modernize its economy and relax its strict social conservative laws.
Just recently, Saudi officials said women would be able to drive on the kingdom’s roads by 2018.
More details to follow. Image 1 of the crown prince from Newsmobile.