Several arrested in corruption crackdown: Iranian journalist says it’s politics

Journalist Ali Hashem (Ali Hashem)

Journalist Ali Hashem lives in Tehran, Iran. He joins Matt Bubala live to discuss the royals being held prisoners at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Saudi Arabia.  Hashem says “two hundred and eight people are being detained” and these people are “possibly the richest people in the country.” The billionaires that were arrested are well-known. “One of the business men is also a prince. His brother is Osama Bin Laden and he’s an owner of a construction company. “Almost everyone that was influential in the kingdom was arrested in the last week.”

Bank accounts of royals have been frozen, and Hashem says it’s likely that their money will be transferred back to the government to have control over wealth.  “It’s not about corruption, it’s about politics,” Hashem says. “There is a big challenge that will face the government of Saudi Arabia,” he says. Millions of dollars were taken outside the country, but “the question that needs to be answered by the government is will other companies come back to Saudi Arabia and invest.”

Typically, power in the kingdom is passed down to sons of royals. However, several may be seen as a threat. Now, this process is being expanded to grandsons. It’s quite complicated and difficult,” Hashem says.  Right now, this decision would be an “issue for the future.”