Saudi royals tackling corruption, or just cashing in on foes?

As Saudi women prep up to get behind the wheels, transport ministry lends a helping hand

Saudi officials loyal to Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman claimed that Al-Qahtani's untimely death, the only one to have been reported during the corruption crackdown, was the result of a sudden stroke.

At the height of the crackdown, more than 300 people are believed to have been held inside the luxury Ritz hotel in Riyadh, including some princes.

At least 17 detainees were subjected to physical abuse during the anti-corruption crackdown, spearheaded by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in order to extract their wealth for their freedom, the Times has found. The kingdom said it seized billions in various types of assets including real estate, commercial entities and cash.

Abuse of power, nepotism and the use of middlemen, wasta, to do business are common, it says, suggesting that business practices in Saudi Arabia need to fundamentally change if corruption is to be eradicated, particularly given the overlap between business and politics.

Saudi Arabia's richest man, billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the kingdom's top global businessmen, was also rumored to have been tortured at the hands of his captors.

Evidence of such abuse has been slow to emerge, but officials from two western governments said they deemed the reports credible.

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Bairstow century seals ODI series
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AC Milan were scared against Arsenal - Bonucci
The much-needed win over AC Milan comes after four straight defeats against Ostersunds, Manchester City twice and Brighton. Until Thursday's triumph in Milan, it had been a while since Arsenal won a match - things were bleak around the Emirates .

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General Qahtani was a top aide to Prince Turki bin Abdullah, a son of the late King Abdullah and a former governor of Riyadh.

Crown Prince Mohammed has fashioned himself into something of a renaissance man in the conservative Sunni Muslim kingdom, ushering in a series of social reforms in recent months.

The government has taken charge of the Saudi Binladen Group construction company while chairman Bakr Binladen remains in custody, according to the NY Times.

He was returned to the hotel for further interrogation, and later pronounced dead at a military hospital.

The Binladin Group is owned by one of the Kingdom's wealthiest families; its chairman, Bakr bin Laden, was detained in Salman's November graft along with several other relatives.

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