Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has been detained for over two months, along with other princes, following an anti-corruption crackdown. Bin Talal is currently negotiating a possible settlement with Saudi authorities but so far the terms have not been agreed, a senior Saudi official told Reuters on Sunday.
The prince is the executive chairperson of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) and was listed in the November 2017 issue of Forbes magazine as the 45th richest man in the world with an estimated net worth of $18bn, with sizeable stakes in Twitter, Lyft, Citigroup, and 21st Century Fox.
“He offered a certain figure that does not meet the figure required from him, and until today the attorney general has not approved it,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity under government briefing rules, as reported by Reuters.
Moreover, another source allegedly told Reuters on Saturday that he had offered to make a “donation” to the Saudi government, in order to avoid any charges or accusations of wrongdoing. However, Saudi authorities refused those terms.
Since early November, bin Talal has been held, along with around 200 of his fellow princes and political and business officials in Riyadh’s opulent Ritz Carlton hotel as authorities seek to reach settlements with the detainees. The number of detainees has dwindled to just a few people.
Earlier in December, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that a source close to the prince told it that bin Talal wants a proper and just investigation, and that he will give Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman a hard time. According to the WSJ, Saudi authorities requested $6bn from the prince.
Saudi officials have previously announced that they aim to collect around $100bn of funds that rightfully belong to the state. Bin Salman earlier said that 95% of the people arrested on corruption charges had agreed to a settlement with the government.
Bin Talal faces charges of money laundering, bribery, and extorting officials.
Earlier on Saturday, construction tycoon Saudi Binladin Group announced that some of its shareholders might transfer part of their holdings to the state, in a move aimed at reconciliation with authorities. While Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah, son of the late King Abdullah and former head of the country’s National Guard, was freed, after allegedly paying a $1bn settlement.