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Saudi prince freed after reportedly paying more than $1 billion

  • Saudi Prince Miteb bin Abdullah has been released after paying authorities more than $1 billion for his freedom
  • At least three other people have reportedly reached settlements with the Saudi government
  • Once seen as a contender to the throne, Prince Miteb was among hundreds of other political and business figures rounded up in a sudden anti-corruption purge at the start of November
Saudi Prince Miteb bin Abdullah was released on Tuesday 29th November, 2017 after reportedly reaching a settlement deal with authorities of over $1 billion.
HASSAN AMMAR | AFP | Getty Images
Saudi Prince Miteb bin Abdullah was released on Tuesday 29th November, 2017 after reportedly reaching a settlement deal with authorities of over $1 billion.

Saudi Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, detained earlier this month in a corruption crackdown, has been released after paying authorities more than $1 billion for his freedom, according to media reports.

Once seen as a contender to the throne, Prince Miteb was among hundreds of other political and business figures rounded up in a sudden anti-corruption purge at the start of November.

The 64-year old cousin of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was said to have been released on Tuesday after reaching an "acceptable settlement agreement," Reuters reported, citing a government source who could not be verified by CNBC. News agency AFP also quoted a source close to the government revealing details of the release.

The amount of the settlement was undisclosed but according to the reports, Prince Miteb was understood to have paid an equivalent of more than $1 billion for his freedom.

At least three other people have reportedly reached settlements with the Saudi government.

Saudi officials have been looking to strike deals with some of those in detention, asking for them to hand over assets and cash in exchange for their freedom.

In some cases, the Saudi government had been seeking to appropriate as much as 70 percent of a suspect's wealth, the Financial Times reported in mid-November. The settlements have the potential to channel hundreds of billions of dollars - allegedly accrued through corruption – back into depleted state funds.

At the beginning of the month, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the arrest of powerful royals and businessmen. Kingdom officials described the extraordinary purge as a crackdown on corruption while others called the exercise a power grab meant to smooth the way for the 32-year-old's anticipated rise to the throne.