According to Saudi broadcaster Al Arabiya, 11 princes, 4 ministers, and a number of former government ministers have been arrested under orders from the new anti-corruption committee headed by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Saturday evening.

The committee announced that it is re-examining the 2009 Jeddah floods and investigating the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus, which emerged in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

A tweet sent out from the official English account of the Saudi Press Agency said the "Minister of Culture and Information: Fighting corruption is state's approach to promoting integrity and advancing reform".

According to several media outlets, including the New York Times and Reuters, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns investment firm Kingdom Holding, is amongst the people who have been detained and placed under investigation by the new anti-corruption body.

The arrests come hours after the new anti-corruption committee was formed. The panel will be tasked with identifying 'offenses, crimes, persons, and entities involved in cases of public corruption'. 

WATCH: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: "No one is above the law, nor prince or minister."

It will have wide-ranging authorities, including 'the investigation, issuance of arrest warrants, travel ban, disclosure, and freezing of accounts and portfolios, tracking of funds, assets and preventing their remittance or transfer by persons and entities, whatever they might be’, according to the royal decree published on the official Saudi Press Agency, Gulf News reported.

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