And the detained suspects have had their bank accounts frozen after widespread reports of prominent men moving their money out of the country.
The continuing slump in oil prices has seen the country’s foreign currency reserves decline from $US737 billion in August, 2014 to$US475 billion late last year. The continuing war against rebels in Yemen is also proving costly as well as inconclusive. There have been wide budget deficits recently and they have forced the country to borrow in international markets.
Just what lies ahead for Saudi Arabia is unclear but what is already obvious is that the practices of old are no longer tolerated. However what is certain is that the old feudal system will continue, albeit with new players
While the government has not said what will now happen to the detained suspects, there are reports that authorities are negotiating with them how much of their wealth they will turn over to buy freedom.
Talk about a real “sheik-down”.
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