After two months in detention at Riyadh’s luxurious Ritz Carlton, the most famous Saudi Billionaire Alwaleed Bin Talal is now a resident of the imposing Al-Ha’ir Prison alongside some high value Al-Qaeda terror suspects.
According to the latest twist from the bizarre adventures of a Saudi Crown Prince gone wild, Alwaleed Bin Talal’s removal over the weekend from the luxurious Ritz Carlton to the Al-Ha’ir Prison complex came as a result of his refusal to cough up $6 billion (USD) for his freedom.
According to information from Saudi officials who begged to remain anonymous as they are not allowed to talk publicly, the 33 year old Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman had tried to extort $6billion (USD) from Alwaleed. However, the billionaire had persistently refused to yield to the overtures from the Crown Prince over the last two months, choosing instead to ride out his imprisonment at the Ritz Carlton.
Currently standing accused of money laundering, bribery and extortion, the $17 billion (USD) worth Alwaleed had counter offered his own deal to secure his release. Information from people knowledgeable in behind the scenes negotiations to get Alwaleed freed indicate that the prince fondly referred to as the “Saudi Warren Buffet” had refused to pay $6 billion for his freedom and instead countered with his own offer. His offer was to “donate” to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from assets of his own choosing while also not admitting to any guilt-terms that his captor Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman refused to accept.
According to Saudi insiders, moving Alwaleed from the cosy Ritz Carlton in Riyadh to the Al-Ha’ir Prison complex signals that the Kingdom has no plans of releasing him anytime soon. There is fear that Alwaleed will be tortured while he is incarcerated along with the most dangerous terrorists of the 21st century. According to people familiar with the Al-Ha’ir Prison, American mercenaries are employed there to extract confessions from prisoners using the most degrading and inhumane torture mechanisms.
So far the crackdown of more than 150 Saudi princes, military personnel and ministers have netted the kingdom more than $194 billion in confiscated funds. Some Saudi royals entangled in the corruption probe are said to have given up to 70% of their net worth in order to secure their freedom.
Written by Mamudou Jallow