Saudi king swears-in new ministers amid anti-corruption crackdown

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Saudi King on Monday swore in the new head of the National Guard, replacing a royal removed in a major crackdown described as an anti-corruption drive in the oil-rich kingdom.

Prince Khaled Ayaf replaced Prince Meteib Abdullah, a son of late Saudi king Abdullah, as the minister of the National Guard.

The newly appointed economy and planning minister, Mohammed al-Tuwaijri, was also sworn in during the ceremony attended by King Salman, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

Mr. Al-Tuwaijri replaces Adel al-Faqieh, who was also dismissed on Saturday, in a cabinet shake-up that took place hours before Saudi authorities arrested dozens of royals and former state officials.

The officials reportedly face charges ranging from involvement in dubious business deals, money laundering, embezzlement of public money, and mishandling state-owned enterprises for personal financial gain, according to state media.

The arrests took place after the Saudi king ordered the creation of an anti-corruption committee headed by his son, Crown Prince Mohammed.

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Among the royals facing investigation is Prince Alwaleed Talal, a business tycoon, who has investments in 21st Century Fox, Twitter and Citigroup.

In a bid to reassure investors, his company, Kingdom Holding, said on Sunday it was aware of “various media reports regarding … the company’s chairman of the board,” referring to Alwaleed.

It said it “reaffirms its full commitment to continue the company’s work, its commitment to its investors and shareholders, and affirms the support of the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

(dpa/NAN)

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