House of Saud: A Family at War

BBC 2 / Current Affairs

The House of Saud has launched an unprecedented crackdown on corruption, detaining hundreds of the richest people in the Kingdom, including 11 members of the royal family, in a luxurious five-star hotel. The series looks at looks at how those arrests marked a dramatic break with the past.

This episode tells the inside story of how some of the most prominent and richest Saudi royals were caught up in the purge. The detentions opened the door on a highly secret world of kickbacks and bribes on a monumental scale, which have also embroiled many foreign governments and some of the world’s leading companies.

The anti-corruption drive is led by the new crown prince, 32-year old Mohammed bin Salman, who has pledged to transform the country and to reform the country’s oil-dependent economy. But the programme hears from those who question whether the mass detentions were less about ending corruption and more about the crown prince removing any resistance to his succession to the throne. As Saudi Arabia stands at a crossroads facing historic change, the programme asks if the latest crackdown could endanger the stability of Saudi Arabia and the House of Saud itself.