Saudi Arabia releases Bin Laden construction tycoon

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Dubai

Saudi Arabia has released construction tycoon Bakr Bin Laden after more than three years since he was detained as part of a corruption crackdown in 2017, two sources told Reuters.

The former chairman of Saudi Bin Ladin group and a half-brother of Osama bin Laden, was released a few days ago but is still barred from travel, the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

His brother, Saad, was released a few months ago, and is also under a travel ban, said one of the sources.

No charges have been made public against Bakr bin Laden, who is 75. He could not be reached, and the Saudi authorities did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bakr Bin Laden has for years run the unlisted Saudi Binladin Group, which is owned by his family.

It had been the Saudi royal family’s preferred building contractor until falling out of favour from 2015.

He was detained as part of a sweeping crackdown on corruption ordered in November 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi authorities said the campaign recovered more than $106 billion through settlements with scores of senior princes, ministers and top businessmen.

Two of his brothers, Saleh and Saad, as well as senior executives in the family firm, were among more than 200 detained in the anti-corruption drive.

The authorities have also seized homes, cars, private jets and jewelry as part of settlements for the men’s release.— Reuters