Contrary to a recent story carried by this publication, fresh information has emerged that shows that Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alssad of Saudi Arabia is no longer a shareholder of the country’s leading micro and macro lender, Letshego Holdings.
The Sunday Standard has been informed that Abdulaziz Alssad disposed his shares in Letshego Holdings in 2009 and that there is no association or engagement of any sort since that time. At the same time, clarity has also been made which shows that Prince Abdulaziz Alssad has never been a board member of the multinational headquartered in the capital Gaborone.
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal has major holdings in United States companies like Twitter, Apple and Citigroup. Shares in his investment firm, Kingdom Holding, tumbled 9.9 percent on the New York Stock Exchange a day after his recent arrest.
A week ago, the prince was arrested alongside 10 other Saudi princes, four sitting cabinet members and scores of former ministers, military officers and business leaders on the orders of a new anti-corruption committee. The official explanation is that the arrests are part of an aggressive push to root out corruption that has long plagued the Saudi kingdom. The unofficial explanation is that the arrests are a ploy by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who heads the anti-corruption committee himself, to consolidate power. The crown prince is the King’s Salman’s son and there is speculation that he might succeed him as early as next year.
The list of detainees also included senior ministers who were recently sacked, such as Prince Mitaab bin Abdullah, the head of the National Guard, and Adel Faqih, the economy minister. The arrest of senior princes upends a longstanding tradition among the ruling Al Saud family to keep their disagreements private in an effort to show strength and unity in the face of Saudi Arabia’s many tribes and factions.