As Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman implemented an immediate anti-corruption commission, 10 senior princes and dozens of former ministers were arrested on Saturday, reported state-owned Al Alarabiya TV.
"Arrest of 10 princes and dozens of former ministers in Saudi Arabia," Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television reported.
What the royal power call the fight against corruption, a cabinet reshuffle was created to remove the strongest potential rival to likely future king Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.
Senior most, powerful heads of the Saudi National Guard, an elite internal security force, and the navy were replaced in a series of high-profile sackings that shook the entire kingdom and political observers.
The move consolidates Crown Prince Mohammed’s control of the kingdom’s security institutions, which had long been headed by separate powerful branches of the ruling family.
Among the arrested is Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the world’s richest men and a top investor in media giant NewsCorp, Twitter and other major companies.
Security forces had grounded private jets in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, in an attempt to prevent any high-profile figures from leaving.
"The reported detention of Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, if true, would send shockwaves through the domestic and international business community."
Detaining Al-Waleed has gained world attention because one of the top players of the country who is not under the direct control Prince Mohammed’s control.
The arrests come less than two weeks after Prince Mohammed welcomed thousands of global business titans to Riyadh for an investment summit, showcasing his economic reform drive for a post-oil era.
In a move that put the ambitions of Saudi Arabia quite dangerously in the Middle East, Prince Mohammed bin Salman aka MbS, as he is known, has been promoted to crown prince in June, replacing his cousin Saudi crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.
Prince Mohammed chairs the supreme board of Aramco, making him the first member of the ruling family to directly oversee the state oil company, long regarded as the preserve of commoner technocrats.
Even as deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman has been responsible for running Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen, dictating an energy policy with global implications and spearheading plans for the kingdom to build an economic future after oil.
In September the authorities arrested about two dozen people, including influential clerics, in what activists denounced as a coordinated crackdown.