Saudi princes, ministers and businessmen detained under the kingdom’s corruption purge are sleeping on the floor of the conference room of the Ritz Carlton hotel in Riyadh, according to reports.
A photo obtained by UK publication the Daily Mail claims to shows the individuals sleeping on mattresses in the function room of the hotel, which was the venue for a major international conference hosted by the Public Investment Fund just weeks prior.
It is now being used as a makeshift prison as investigations into the 11 princes, four ministers and tens of former ministers continue.
Among the dozens detained are Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, minister of the national guard Prince Miteb bin Abdullah and Al Tayyar Travel board member Nasser bin Aqeel al-Tayyar.
Saudi Aseer Trading, Tourism and Manufacturing and Red Sea International board members Abdullah Saleh Kamel, Khalid al-Mulheim and Amr al-Dabbagh have also been arrested, according to reports.
They face allegations of money laundering, bribery, extortion and taking advantage of public office for personal gain.
A new anti-corruption committee overseeing the investigation has the power to seize assets at home and abroad.
“Yesterday does not represent the start, but the completion of Phase One of our anti-corruption push,” the country’s attorney general Saud al-Mojeb said on Monday. Probes were done discreetly “to preserve the integrity of the legal proceedings and ensure there was no flight from justice.”
He indicated “a great deal of evidence had been obtained”.