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– Saudi Arabia’s 5th richest person, Sheikh Mohammed Al-Amoudi, has been arrested.
– He is one of the biggest private investors in Sweden, with a major stake in many Swedish companies including petrol chain Preem.
– Al-Amoudi is being held at the Ritz in Riyadh, among several other high-profile detainees.
One of the biggest private foreign investors and real estate owners in Sweden, Mohammed Al-Amoudi, is among the people arrested in Saudi Arabia this weekend in what the government explained as a crackdown on corruption.
Al-Amoudi, who is of Ethiopian-Saudi origin, owns the Swedish petrol chain Preem. The company’s communications director in Sweden, Helene Samuelsson, has confirmed Al-Amoudi’s arrest to Swedish business daily Dagens Industri.
“We know that he, according to unconfirmed sources, is being detained in a form of house arrest at hotel Ritz in Riyadh together with others. Other than that, we have no further details, and we therefore don’t know anything as to the reasons [of his arrest] or what awaits,” Samuelsson said.
Hundreds of high-profile people were detained this weekend in a purge headed by the kingdom’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman; including eleven princes, four sitting ministers, dozens of former ministers and some of the country’s wealthiest people.
With a net worth of more than $10 billion, Al-Amoudi is currently the world’s 159th richest person, according to Forbes. In the past two decades, the 71-year old magnate has steadily grown his Swedish investment portfolio with current or past holdings including property developers Midroc Europe and Peab, as well as Preem.
With 100 percent ownership, Preem is currently Al-Amoudi’s biggest Swedish holding. Around a decade ago, he was Sweden’s biggest single biggest private investor.
Al-Amoudi with the Swedish king, Carl XVI Gustaf, 2007.
PONTUS LUNDAHL / TT
Al-Amoudi is known for rubbing shoulders with the country’s power elite (not least by way of his real estate holdings in the night club district of Stockholm, Stureplan): In 2007, he was awarded a honorary medal by the Swedish king.
He has also appeared together with the former Swedish Prime Minister, Göran Persson, and