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Saudis expand crackdown with arrest of military officials and businessmen, WSJ reports

  • Saudi authorities have reportedly detained about two dozen military officials and several businessmen, widening a corruption investigation.
  • Commanders in Saudi Arabia's armed forces are among those authorities have swept up in recent days, The Wall Street Journal reports.
  • Earlier arrests contributed to a rally in energy markets that pushed oil prices to their highest level in more than two years.
Saudi Arabia's Mohammed bin Salman (2nd L) on April 19, 2017 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Getty Images
Saudi Arabia's Mohammed bin Salman (2nd L) on April 19, 2017 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Saudi authorities have reportedly detained about two dozen military officials and several businessmen, widening a crackdown that has already ensnared princes, ministers and other wealthy elites.

Commanders in Saudi Arabia's armed forces are among those authorities have swept up as part of a corruption investigation in recent days, The Wall Street Journal reported. It was not clear whether they are accused of wrongdoing or were being called as witnesses, the Journal said.

The investigation is seen as both a campaign to rein in graft and a move to consolidate power under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is widely expected to take his father's place as king sometime soon.

Billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and the former head of the National Guard, Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah, are among the royals who were detained in the first wave of arrests earlier this month.

The arrests contributed to a rally in energy markets, fueled by geopolitical tension, that pushed oil prices to their highest levels in more than two years.

The news of additional arrests follows reports that Saudi authorities are offering to release wealthy detainees if they forfeit their assets.

Read the full story here.

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