Saudi Arab

Bin Salman Prepares Corruption Charges of $15 Billion Against Bin Nayef

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman prepares corruption and disloyalty charges against his predecessor and onetime rival, former crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef.

Saudi and U.S. sources say that MBS’s anti-corruption committee is nearing completion of a detailed investigation of allegations that MBN improperly diverted billions of Saudi riyals through a network of front companies and private accounts while he was running Saudi counterterrorism programs at the Interior Ministry. MBN served there as chief assistant to his father, Prince Nayef, and then succeeded him as minister from 2012 to 2017.

An associate of MBN’s said Saudi investigators have demanded that he repay $15 billion they claim he stole, though it isn’t clear how they reached that number. The associate, like some others contacted for this article, requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

A 2013 report from MBN to Abdullah, reviewed by The Post, summarizes secret counter terrorism spending that fiscal year. The document, dated May 20, 2013, requests approval to spend 5 billion Saudi riyals (about $1.3 billion) on eight projects, including 378 million riyals for “secret airports,” 1.6 billion riyals for “aviation transport services” and 1.5 billion riyals for security “resources,” such as weapons. (The “secret airports” reference may refer to a project disclosed by the BBC in February 2013 to build a drone base in the kingdom two years before.)

In 2017, Saudi authorities arrested dozens of the royal family’s members, ministers, and businessmen, and detained them, all, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh, on the orders of the Saudi crown prince. Most of them were charged with corruption, and they reached financial settlements with each other.

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