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Global Intelligence Report - 9th January 2019

Rig

Sources

- A friend of family of jailed McKinsey partner in Saudi Arabia
- 2 former business associates of Hani Khoja in Saudi Arabia
- High-level Turkish military sources

In recent days, news has been emerging about the October 2017 arrest of a former partner in McKinsey in Saudi Arabia, including reports that he is now being interrogated and tortured. The McKinsey partner in question is Hani Khoja, and our network of high-level sources on the ground in Riyadh say that he is being pressured right now to give false information on former Saudi economics minister Adel Fakieh. McKinsey fired Khoja while he was in jail and stopped paying his family as well. A Wall Street Journal story from a few weeks ago suggested that McKinsey was still paying the family; however, family members have told our sources that this is not true.

In addition, the government of MBS took 70% of Khoja’s net worth soon after his arrest in 2017. They simply removed it from his bank accounts without any procedure whatsoever.

The Khoja affair is a major black eye for McKinsey, and comes amid more scrutiny of the firm’s global dealings with totalitarian and undemocratic regimes. It is also a continuing highlight of MBS’ corrupt manner of dealing with businessmen in KSA.

Fakieh is an engineer and the former mayor of Jeddah, as well as former labor minister and former health minister. Most recently, he was minister of economy, until King Salman removed him in November 2017 by royal decree. Fakieh was a threat to MBS’ total power over KSA and was involved in the ‘transformation’ projects even before MBS came to power. He even had his own measure of influence, including with others in the Saudi royal family. For this reason, he was targeting during the initial crackdown. However, MBS’ problem right now is that they have not been able to associate Fakieh with any crime, and thus are using the McKinsey partner in an attempt to fabricate evidence against him and remove his power and influence fully. This is yet another indication that MBS views his position as vulnerable.

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