Saudi Arabia plans to auction off detained billionaire’s 923 cars

Saudi Arabia authorities are preparing to auction off billions of dollars of real estate and cars belonging to billionaire Maan al-Sanea and his company as they look to hasten an end to one of the kingdom’s longest-running debt disputes.

Saudi Arabia plans to auction off detained billionaire' s 923 cars lailasnews

The billionaire was reported to have been arrested by Saudi Authourities in 2017 for unpaid debt dating back to 2009 from his company, Saad Group. According to an inside source, Al-Senea’s debt could be between 40 and 60 billion Saudi riyals, or $10.6 and $15.9 billion at today’s exchange rates.

According to Reuters, the planned sale is the latest signal that Saudi Arabia is serious about holding its elites to account. In an anti-corruption crackdown last November, authorities detained scores of senior officials on charges of alleged graft. Most have been released after being exonerated or agreeing to give the state money, assets or real estate.

Creditors have spent the past nine years pursuing Saad, which is based in the city of Khobar in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province.

Investors see the case as a litmus test of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s commitment to reforms.

Etqaan Alliance, the consortium appointed by Saudi authorities to liquidate assets owned by al-Sanea and the company in an effort to repay creditors, plans to begin selling the company’s assets in Saudi Arabia.

A property belonging to billionaire Maan al-Sanea is seen in Khobar in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Zuhair Al-Traifi

Ministry of Justice confirmed an auction would be launched this month to sell vehicles, equipment, a large quantity of building materials and some property before the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, which starts in May.

What’s even more staggering is the fleet of vehicles owned by the Saad Group. There are 923 vehicles under its ownership, including trucks, buses, and cars. A further 26 vehicles are registered under al-Sanea’s name,including a Rolls Royce, a Hummer, and Cadillac Concord.

Authorities confirm that the proceeds of the auction will be distributed to the company’s creditors.

Do you think the Nigerian government have the capacity to fight corruption in this kind of manner?


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