Saudi Arabia says it raised $106 billion dollars form its “anti-corruption” drive that swept up royals, prominent businessmen and others in 2017. If you recall, hundreds of princes in the extended royal family were gathered up and arrested then detained in a hotel. They were released after turning over their bank account numbers and billions of dollars in cash and stocks were taken by the government.
This form of tax collection seems odd for the current year but it has been practiced for many years by those who live in the Kingdom. This probe which is now coming to an end was successful in terms of collecting cash from some of the lesser known members of the royal family which is said to have as many as 40,000 members.
Some experts on the Kingdom say that the capture of lesser-known prices and business figures was a move by the Crown Price Mohammed bin Salman to consolidate power and let all rivals know that he means business. He has come under pressure for the death of journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi.
The arrests and corruption campaign took place just when an international conference was taking place and Saudi Arabia was asking overseas investors to invest in the Kingdom. Among the prominent detainees was the famous Prince Alwaleed bin Tall – most others were not known to the public.