Thursday, January 28, 2021

"Saudi Arabia’s Ousted Spymaster Is Accused of Embezzling Billions"

 Go big or go home.

Or go to Chop-Chop Square.

From the Wall Street Journal, January 27:

Lawsuit filed in Canada by a Saudi state-owned conglomerate targets a longtime ally of the kingdom’s former crown prince

State-owned companies of Saudi Arabia have sued the country’s former spymaster in a Canadian court, alleging he embezzled billions of dollars, in a case that throws a spotlight on a bitter royal feud.

Ten companies owned by Tahakom Investments Co., a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund, filed the civil suit in Ontario Superior Court against Saad al Jabri, who fled the kingdom and is now living in Canada. Mr. Jabri is the former top aide of Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, known as MBN, who was removed as crown prince in 2017 by King Salman in favor of his son, Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS. Saudi authorities detained MBN last year and accused him of plotting a coup.

MBN was once one of the most influential members of the Saudi ruling family and a trusted U.S. ally known for his role in helping combat al Qaeda. His dismissal capped the rapid rise to power by his younger cousin, MBS.

Mr. Jabri, for years at MBN’s side in the Interior Ministry, which MBN helped run, is credited by former U.S. officials with helping stop terrorist attacks on Western targets. He was fired several months before his boss lost his job, which prompted his flight to Canada.

The lawsuit against Mr. Jabri highlights the clash at the top echelons of the Saudi monarchy and brings unprecedented scrutiny in a Western court to the opaque business dealings of the royal family.
The lawsuit alleges that MBN colluded with Mr. Jabri to receive at least $1.2 billion in misappropriated funds. MBN allegedly transferred at least $55 million to Mr. Jabri as kickbacks, according to the suit. MBN, who remains in custody in Saudi Arabia, isn’t named as a defendant in the lawsuit that was filed in the Canadian court.

A campaign advocating for the Jabris said the family would “fight the recycled corruption allegations vigorously and are confident they will succeed in dismissing them.” It said in a statement issued in response to the case: “The family welcomes the opportunity to face off against MBS in neutral judicial forums.”

MBN hasn’t been reachable for comment since his detention in Riyadh last year....