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Saudi royals loot national wealth

Date:08/03-2011

Reports show that members of the Saudi royal family have appropriated billions of dollars of the country’s national wealth, including oil revenues, for their personal use.

According a Reuters report, Saudi royals took some $2 billion of the national income in 1996, while they as well as others closely associated with Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdel Aziz, now spend $10 billion of the country’s earnings annually for personal expenses.

Also, it has already been revealed that revenues from the sale of one million barrels of oil per day go to only five or six Saudi princes.

Documents show the better part of national spending in Saudi Arabia over the past two decades has been allocated to the royal family.

One such document reads that Saudi royals, who number in the thousands, are known to possess great wealth and spend lavishly.

Monthly salaries given to the members of the royal family range from $800 a month for the most junior members to $270,000 per month for senior royals, reports Reuters. The figures do not include the expenses for wedding ceremonies and building palaces.

The same report suggests that five percent of Saudi Arabia’s $40 billion overall budget for 1996, that is $2 billion, was earmarked for salaries of the royal family.

This comes as many senior officials and royals in Saudi Arabia have gone into business, pocketing upwards of $10 billion dollars besides their regular salaries.

Some Saudi royals have even confiscated public land to sell to the Saudi government.

There are four main opposition groups in Saudi Arabia. There are the Hijaz tribes that have complained the Al-Saud family has even named the country after itself, excluding other tribes and groups from the government. Then there are the reformist technocrats and the youth, who would like to see a constitution as well as elections incorporated into the Saudi system of monarchy.

The thrid group that opposes the monarchy are mainly the reformist Salafis, and the fourth major group are the Shias, who mainly occupy the oil-rich eastern part of the country but are the most oppressed in the country.