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Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, currently detained in an ostensible Saudi corruption probe, has been offered freedom in exchange for roughly a third of his wealth. © FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, currently detained in an ostensible Saudi corruption probe, has been offered freedom in exchange for roughly a third of his wealth.
Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, detained in a corruption probe, can buy his freedom for a price fit for one of the world’s richest men — $6 billion.
The 62-year-old Syracuse University grad was among 11 princes and dozens of foreign ministers rounded up last month amid an investigation led by the kingdom’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Alwaleed would only have to give up a third of his estimated $18.7 billion fortune to win his release from a makeshift prison at the posh Riyadh Ritz-Carlton.
But the Saudi royal is instead seeking to persuade the government to accept as payment a large chunk of his company, worth about $8.7 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Alwaleeed is apparently playing hardball, insisting that he stays on in a leadership role in the new state-backed company.
“Keeping (the empire) under his control, that’s his battle,” a source told our correspondent.