Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, a Saudi billionaire who entered world’s top 100 most influential people in 2008 according to TIME magazine, has been detained for two months as part of a sweeping anti-corruption campaign in Saudi Arabia.
Bin Talal is negotiating the terms of his release from custody with the Saudi authorities, an official familiar with the situation said.
“He [Bin Talal] offered a certain figure but it doesn’t meet the figure required from him, and until today the attorney-general hasn’t approved it,” the official said Sunday on condition of anonymity.
The revelation emerges a day after another undisclosed source said that the detained prince was seeking to get cleared of the charges he is facing in exchange for a “donation” from his assets. However, the government was said to have denied the offer.
Prior to that, the Wall Street Journal released a report alleging that Riyadh wanted the prince to pay $6 billion for freedom. The latter, however, was reported to be trying to persuade the authorities to take a stake in his businesses instead of demanding cash. The prince owns the Kingdom Holding global investment company, which has shares in such companies as Twitter and the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.
Bin Talal, whose net worth is estimated to be an astronomic $17 billion, is reportedly suspected of money laundering, bribery and extorting officials. The prince, who was detained among 200 other Royals at the end of the last year, has not officially commented on the allegations.
Dozens of Saudi officials have been freed after reaching settlement agreements.
Riyadh is reportedly seeking to allocate the money seized from the detained members of the Royal family to fund various development projects. A Saudi minister said in early December that the government expects to collect between $50 and $100 billion.