But Middle East watchers said the payments may not be as sinister as they first appear or create significant risks to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the powerful royal behind the purge.
To be sure, the arrangements threaten to provoke allegations of extortion and harden pockets of opposition to bin Salman at a sensitive time. King Salman bin Abdulaziz is expected to hand the throne to the crown prince soon, and Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, is seeking foreign investment to underwrite its economic transformation plan.
However, the asset seizures could essentially function like settlements, which would allow the nation to avoid messy court battles and move on from the purge, some analysts told CNBC.
Further, while the appropriations are likely to chafe some centers of power in the kingdom, they also stand to bolster bin Salman's standing among average Saudis, many of whom resent the excesses of the sprawling royal family, analysts told CNBC.