Billionaire Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, a prominent member of Saudi Arabia’s royal family and one of the world’s wealthiest men, was among at least 10 princes and more than two dozen current and former ministers detained by Saudi authorities on Saturday night, according to people familiar with the matter.
Mr. al-Waleed is a top investor in Apple Inc. and Twitter Inc. He faces charges of money laundering, according to a person familiar with the matter.
In 1997, the year Steve Jobs returned to Apple, Prince al-Waleed bought more than 5% of Apple for $115 million. He said that Apple had “serious potential” to once again deliver large returns to shareholders.
That 5% stake would have been worth more than $44 billion today, if he had held on to it. According to Forbes, al-Waleed dumped most of his Apple shares in 2005.
The Washington Post‘s analysis:
Saudi officials and loyalist media outlets framed the detentions as part of an ambitious new initiative to root out graft in the kingdom. But it also appeared to be part of an ongoing effort by the country’s ambitious crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, to consolidate power by eliminating rivals or critics in the event that his father, King Salman, abdicates the throne.