After Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched a crackdown on former government ministers, prominent businessmen and members of the royal family accused wrongdoing are being held captive as part of a wide-ranging anti-corruption campaign.
These people, accused of money laundering, bribery, extortion and exploiting public office for personal gain, have been arrested and locked down in an extraordinary prison — a luxurious hotel in Riyadh.
Video uploaded on YouTube shows, the 52-acre five-star hotel in the Saudi capital. The video filmed inside Ritz-Carlton Hotel’s Hall B, shows people lying on carpets covered with colorful blankets.
Guards can also be seen, wearing dark uniforms and a weapon that looks like an M-4 rifle used by the U.S. military is visible in the footage.
Hall B is reportedly one of the modest areas of the hotel. But, it is pretty huge, with an area of 20,000 square feet and can be used as a banquet hall to accommodate 1,400 to 2,000 people.
The royals and elite, including prominent Middle-Eastern billionaire businessman Alwaleed bin Talal, held in the hotel have been reportedly banned from using the internet or mobile phones.
“Due to unforeseen circumstances, the hotel’s internet and telephone lines are currently disconnected until further notice,” the hotel wrote on its website.
Thirty-eight government ministers and eleven princes are reportedly under arrest. According to the Guardian, the hotel is being used to house the elite prisoners, because it would be considered too "demeaning" to send them to prison.
Thumbnail/Banner: Reuters, Faisal Al Nasser