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  • Detained in Dubai

Disgraced Saudi Prince Convened Meeting of Billionaires Prior to His Arrest

Tuwaiq Oasis, where the secretive billionaire’s conference was held.

Contractors stiffed by Saudi Prince for construction of venue for secret billionaires' meeting reveal potential plot to challenge MBS

A new legal case by a group of contractors provides new potential insights into the events surrounding the detention of at least one of the 11 Saudi princes arrested shortly after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman assumed power.

In November 2017, several Saudi elites were corralled in the Riyadh Ritz Carlton hotel and placed under house arrest, including 11 members of the royal family. Among them was Prince Turki bin Abdullah, who was charged with corruption stemming from his management of the Riyadh Metro project he initiated, but Saudi insiders suspect that his arrest may have had an even more sinister story behind it.

“All of those detained were seen as potential rivals to Mohammed bin Salman,” explains Radha Stirling, founder and CEO of Due Process International and Interpol reform organisation IPEX, “It is well-known that divisions and enmity exist within different branches of the Saudi royal family, and MBS wanted to pre-empt any potential challenges to his authority. The arrests amounted to a purge in the eyes of most observers, but until this case, there was only conjecture about the extent of Prince Turki’s ambitions. Most people thought the purge was a symbolic show of force, not a response to a genuine challenge to Mohammed bin Salman’s power. However, the facts around the current case indicate that