The mass weekend arrests by Saudi Arabia could be due to both the stated purpose of cracking down on corruption and a power grab by the kingdom’s young, reform-minded crown prince who may soon take the throne, said Robert Jordan, former U.S. ambassador to the kingdom.
On Saturday, 11 princes, including well-known billionaire investor Alwaleed bin Talal, and four ministers, including the one in charge of the National Guard, were arrested, according to various reports, along with a number of former ministers.
MDC says, Saudi Arabia’s arrest of Prince Alwaleed ‘would be like arresting Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, or Bill Gates’ in the United States. Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding has major stakes in Fox, Time Warner, Citigroup, Twitter, Apple, Motorola and many other well-known companies, as well as several satellite television networks that are prominent in the Arab world.
We would also like to add that our Duffus POTUS commented in tweets Monday evening, President Trump appeared to endorse Saudi Arabian King Salman’sto remove a prince who headed the National Guard and create a new “anti-corruption” committee on Saturday.
“I have great confidence in King Salman and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, they know exactly what they are doing….” the president tweeted.
He completed the statement with a second tweet.
“….Some of those they are harshly treating have been ‘milking’ their country for years!” he wrote. MDC would like to add, Trump acts like a dictator and basically endorsed a dictator’s executive decision move.
The arrests happened hours after King Salman created an anti-corruption committee chaired by his 32-year-old son, Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. MBS, as the crown prince is known, could become king later this year or in early 2018 when his 81-year-old father abdicates the throne.
At 11pm on Saturday, guests at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh got a rude awakening. Businesspeople and consultants who were staying in one of Riyadh’s most opulent digs, along with diners and visitors, were all told to assemble in the lobby with their bags. No one knew why.
As guests made their way to buses to be taken to other hotels in the Saudi capital, senior officials were making plans for new arrivals who weren’t prepared for a night away from home, let alone a spell in a five-star hotel. They were soon to become the highest-profile prisoners in the modern kingdom’s history. And the most pampered.
From midnight, buses arrived in the sprawling complex disgorging princes, business leaders, other royals, their guards and their captors. The arrivals marked the start of an extraordinary episode that exposed the kingdom’s elite to rare public scrutiny and showed that, even when accused of high crime, the powerful maintain privileges.
By dawn on Sunday, more than 30 of Saudi Arabia’s most senior figures, among them blood relatives of senior rulers, were locked inside the hotel, accused of corruption. Their ignominious arrests were the talk of the country, and so too was the fact that they were far from a prison cell, where most citizens facing similar charges could expect to find themselves.
A trove of 13.4 million records exposes ties between Russia and U.S. President Donald Trump’s billionaire commerce secretary, the secret dealings of the chief fundraiser for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the offshore interests of the queen of England and more than 120 politicians around the world.
MDC says, Wilbur Ross is next. We would love to see Trump’s family also busted, but politics and finance will fuck with that .
The leaked documents, dubbed the Paradise Papers, show how deeply the offshore financial system is entangled with the overlapping worlds of political players, private wealth and corporate giants, including Apple, Nike, Uber and other global companies that avoid taxes through increasingly imaginative bookkeeping maneuvers.
One offshore web leads to Trump’s commerce secretary, private equity tycoon Wilbur Ross, who has a stake in a shipping company that has received more than $68 million in revenue since 2014 from a Russian energy company co-owned by the son-in-law of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In all, the offshore ties of more than a dozen Trump advisers, Cabinet members and major donors appear in the leaked data.
The new files come from two offshore services firms as well as from 19 corporate registries maintained by governments in jurisdictions that serve as waystations in the global shadow economy. The leaks were obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and a network of more than 380 journalists in 67 countries.
The promise of tax havens is secrecy – offshore locales create and oversee companies that often are difficult, or impossible, to trace back to their owners. While having an offshore entity is often legal, the built-in secrecy attracts money launderers, drug traffickers, kleptocrats and others who want to operate in the shadows. Offshore companies, often “shells” with no employees or office space, are also used in complex tax-avoidance structures that drain billions from national treasuries.
The offshore industry makes “the poor poorer” and is “deepening wealth inequality,” said Brooke Harrington, a certified wealth manager and Copenhagen Business School professor who is the author of ‘Capital without Borders: Wealth Managers and the One Percent.’
“There is this small group of people who are not equally subject to the laws as the rest of us, and that’s on purpose,” Harrington said. These people “live the dream” of enjoying “the benefits of society without being subject to any of its constraints.”
The records expand on the revelations from the leak of offshore documents that spawned the 2016 Panama Papers investigation by ICIJ and its media partners. The new files shine a light on a different cast of underexplored island havens, including some with cleaner reputations and higher price tags, such as the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
President Trump used his inaugural address at the United Nations on Monday to criticize the world body for not living up to its “potential” because of bureaucracy and urged member nations to reject “business as usual” and take “bold stands.”
“In recent years, the United Nations has not reached its full potential because of bureaucracy and mismanagement, ” Trump said at the 72-year-old organization during a meeting on reforms.
Despite a ballooning budget and a doubling of staff since 2000, Trump said, “We are not seeing the results in line with this investment” and encouraged UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to focus more on people than bureaucracy.
“We seek a United Nations that regains the trust of people from around the world,” the president said in his tightly scripted five-minute address. “In order to achieve this, the UN must hold every level of management accountable, protect whistle-blowers and focus on results rather than on process.”
“We encourage all member states to look at ways to take bold stands at the United Nations with an eye toward changing business as usual and not being beholden to ways of the past, which were not working,” he said, pledging the US would be a full partner in the reform efforts.
Trump, who will address the General Assembly on Tuesday, also said none of the 193 member nations should shoulder a “disproportionate share of the burden — militarily or financially.”
And he called for creating “clearly defined goals and metrics for evaluating the success” of the UN’s peacekeeping mission around the globe.
With the changes, Trump said, “I am confident that if we work together and champion truly bold reforms, the United Nations will emerge as a stronger, more effective, more just and greater force for peace and harmony in the world.”
In his address, Guterres said what keeps him up at night is the ” bureaucracy … fragmented structures, Byzantine procedures and endless red tape” of the UN.
“I even sometimes ask myself whether there was a conspiracy to make our rules exactly what they need for us not to be effective,” he said.
Later Monday, Trump was expected to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and French President Emmanuel Macron.