A former Saudi employee at Banque Saudi Fransi revealed new facts about the detainees of the "Ritz-Carlton Hotel" in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, and how to seize their money and the settlements that were made to end their arrest and raise the seizure of their money, as part of the campaign launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman since November November 2017 against princes, ministers, business leaders and others under the banner of fighting corruption.

The employee Saeed Al-Zahrani was working within the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Unit in the Saudi Fransi Bank, which was in charge of the process of seizing the detainees' bank accounts at the request of the authorities.

Al-Zahrani said in a video during an interview through the account of the Saudi dissident Omar bin Abdul Aziz on Twitter, that the money confiscated from princes, businessmen and others exceeded 400 billion riyals (106 billion dollars), and was transferred from banks to the Arab Monetary Agency (the Saudi Central Bank), and This money appears in government budgets in the following years.

#Ritz_ Money # in the Cell https://t.co/eZFH4ml4jm

Omar Abdulaziz (@ oamaz7) May 30, 2020

The freezing mechanism
Al-Zahrani pointed to the way the mechanism of freezing the accounts works, saying that it was done by orders of the State Security Agency sent to bank managers in the Kingdom through groups on the "WhatsApp" application, while each bank was given a period of 30 minutes to implement these orders, otherwise the assigned employee was exposed to accountability and investigation .

The former employee explained that during the period from November 2017 to January 2018, the funds were seized and the reservations were removed in accordance with the settlements between the authorities and many of the Ritz Hotel detainees.

Sample application form pic.twitter.com/Hj4mzPa8Uf

- Saeed Al-Zahrani 🇨🇦♐ (@ _ssaa8891) May 30, 2020

Al-Zahrani mentioned that among the well-known personalities whose bank accounts were viewed during the mission required of him there are the family of the former king Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, the late billionaire Saleh Kamel, their husbands and their children, the former finance minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf, and the Saudi billionaire of Ethiopian origin Muhammad Hussein Al-Amoudi and others.

Al-Hathloul accounts
Al-Zahrani said that the State Security Service in the Kingdom has asked the Saudi Fransi Bank on three occasions to send account statements to the human rights activist currently detained for Jain al-Hathloul before her arrest, stressing that her account contained only 30 thousand riyals, and exchanges with her husband.

The same spokesman added that during his review of the bank accounts of a number of detainees and detainees in the kingdom's prisons who were accused of working abroad and receiving money from abroad, he did not show him any indications of any financial violations, and among these detainees are well-known human rights activists Aziza Al-Youssef.

Here are some of the names whose accounts were investigated, some of their accounts were in other banks pic.twitter.com/blXnIHoOOE

- Saeed Al-Zahrani 🇨🇦♐ (@ _ssaa8891) May 30, 2020

The former bank employee added that he also had a request from the kingdom’s authorities in 2015, related to the disclosure of the accounts of former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who holds Saudi nationality in addition to his Lebanese nationality, who was detained in Riyadh in 2017 before being released.

It is noteworthy that Al-Zahrani currently resides in Canada, where he and his family obtained the right to asylum, after he left Saudi Arabia in 2018, and worked from 2011 to 2018 in the Systematic Control Analysis Unit (Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) with the Saudi French Bank.

The Saudi refugee explains that the reason that led him to leave the Kingdom is that the issue of combating money laundering and terrorist financing has been transformed from the topic of fighting crime to a tool in the hands of the state security apparatus to suppress society, including opponents and detainees.