Saudi Prince Who Opposed Trump Detained in 5-Star Hotel After Arrest
The billionaire prince who opposed President Donald Trump during the 2016 U.S. election is being held in a 5-star hotel after he was arrested earlier this weekend on money laundering charges.
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal is one of the richest men in the world and described himself as the largest individual foreign investor in the United States. He was among 11 princes and 38 high-level officials who were arrested during a large-scale purge in Saudi Arabia that started on Saturday evening.
Alwaleed owns a majority stake in Kingdom Holding, which invests billions in U.S. companies, including Citigroup, Twitter, Apple, 21st Century Fox, Apple, eBay, and Time Warner, according to Business Insider.
Alwaleed is reportedly being held at the Ritz Carlton in Riyad, which was evacuated on Saturday, New York Times reported.
Alwaleed opposed President Trump’s run for office.
“Withdraw from the U.S presidential race as you will never win,” Alwaleed wrote on Twitter on Dec. 11, 2015.
Within hours, Trump fired back.
“Dopey Prince @Alwaleed_Talal wants to control our U.S. politicians with daddy’s money,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Can’t do it when I get elected.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2015
Hour before the arrests in Saudi Arabia began on Saturday, Trump sent a message on Twitter inviting the Saudis to list oil company Aramco on the New York Stock Exchange.
“Would very much appreciate Saudi Arabia doing their IPO of Aramco with the New York Stock Exchange,” Trump wrote. “Important to the United States!”
Days before Trump’s Aramco tweet, Jared Kushner traveled to Saudi Arabia on an unannounced visit. Although the White House would not confirm who Kushner met, Politico reported that he had cultivated a close relationship with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
The crown prince is the favorite son of King Salman and is set to take over the reins from his father. Mohammed Bin Salman was also the head of the anti-corruption task force in the hours leading up to the arrests.
Trump met with Mohammed Bin Salman in at the White House in March.
The campaign of mass arrests expanded on Monday after a top entrepreneur was reportedly detained in the biggest anti-corruption purge of the kingdom’s affluent elite in its modern history.
Saudi Arabia’s attorney general called the arrests “phase one.”
The crackdown has drawn no public opposition within the kingdom—neither on the street, nor social media. Many Saudi citizens applauded the arrests.
Saudi banks have begun freezing suspects’ accounts, sources told Reuters.
Reuters contributed to this report.