billionaire and one of the world's richest men, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud, was among dozens of other royal and military officials who were arrested overnight Saturday as part of a weeping anti-corruption probe. As a result of the arrests, the prince's company, Kingdom Holding Co., took a plunge in the Saudi stock exchange, plummeting nearly nine percent.
Reports suggested that those who were detained were being held at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh, which, days earlier, hosted a major investment conference with global business titans from the U.S., Japan and other countries.
Among those detained also reportedly included two of the late King Abdullah's sons. Pro-government media hailed the move, seeing it as a sign that current Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is keeping his promise to reform the country, which has long been plagued by allegations of corruption at the highest levels of government.
According to one Saudi government official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said 11 princes and 38 others are being detained. The scale of these arrests are unprecedented, since senior royals and their business associates are often seen as untouchable by the rule of law.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.