Prominent billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was arrested Saturday night in an anti-corruption probe, Saudi Arabia announced. At least 24 others, including princes, ministers, and former ministers, were also arrested. 

Alwaleed, the chairman of the Kingdom Holding Company, is one of the world's richest men with a $16.8 billion fortune, Forbes estimates. As of last year, he owned 35 million shares of  Twitter and his company owned 3.5 percent of Lyft, according to Recode.  

The arrests come at a crucial time for Saudi Arabia as it tries to diversify its investments away from oil and rebrand itself as the next major tech player. It has put $45 billion from its Public Investment Fund into a $100 billion tech fun organized by Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank, according to Recode

Meanwhile, in Silicon Valley, leaked documents known as the "Paradise Papers" revealed that Facebook and Twitter received major investments from the Kremlin, according to The New York Times. DST Global, an investment company created by the Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, funneled hundreds of millions into Facebook and Twitter, but the funds came from two government-controlled financial institutions.

Milner's companies owned more than 8 percent of Facebook and 5 percent of Twitter, but sold the holdings several years ago, according to The Times. At this time, there is no suggestion that Milner or his companies were tied to Russia's involvement in spreading fake news on the social media platforms during the 2016 presidential election. 

Published on: Nov 6, 2017