Saudi Arab:11 princes and dozens of former ministers were detained in a new anti-corruption probe led by the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman,reported Al-Arabiya news channel  late Saturday.

The highest profile arrest is Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, a multi-billionaire with huge investments in Western companies.The prince, a grandson of Saudi’s first ruler and son of a Saudi minister of finance, has an estimated net worth of $ 17bn (£ 13bn), according to the  Forbes magazine.

King Salman removed one of the most prominent princes of the royal family from his ministerial role and arrested other members of the royal family and top officials in an anti-corruption sweep, clearing any remaining obstacles to his son’s potential ascension to throne. Prince Miteb, son of late king Abdullah, was removed from his position as head of the powerful National Guard.He was one of the few remaining oldest members of the royal family who survived a series of cabinet shuffles that promoted allies of the crown prince, Mohammad Bin Salman.

Prince Khaled Ayyaf has replaced Prince Miteb, according to a royal decree. Prince Miteb was once considered a contender for the royal throne. His ouster as head of the National Guard is essentially significant in clearing the obstacles for current crown prince, who has accumulated enormous power in less than three years since his father, King Salman, ascended to the throne.

Earlier in September crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, had launched a broad crackdown on dissent, targeting clerics, public critics and political rivals.

Meanwhile Mohammed bin Nayef, the senior royal family member ousted by Prince Mohammed as crown prince, remains in effect under house arrest.

The crackdown is seen as an attempt to sideline influential persons of the royal family and clearing the path in favour of Prince Mohammed who is positioning  himself for an ascension to the throne, perhaps in the first half of next year.

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