Translated from Dutch NOS TV:
Osama bin Laden‘s family business in Saudi Arabia in a fix
The economic crisis in Saudi Arabia has also affected Osama bin Laden’s family business. The contracting company founded by the father of the late al-Qaeda leader has fired 50,000 workers according to a Saudi newspaper.
The Construction Company Saudi Binladen Group with 200,000 workers has grown by extensively getting public money. The oil dollars that entered the country were converted by the contractor into roads, airports, mosques and one skyscraper after another. Also abroad, the company completed major projects.
After the decline in oil prices last year the state budget showed a deficit of 100 billion dollars. The government in Riyadh has therefore no money for prestigious projects.
Yesterday the news came out that one in four workers will be sacked. The dismissed workers are said to be all foreigners. The corporation itself has not responded to that news item.
The company has another problem, because it is no longer the obvious beneficiary of public contracts. The company this September became discredited by an accident at the Grand Mosque of Mecca. In a sandstorm a construction crane fell on the sanctuary. Killing 107 people.
That the corporation is in a financial fix seems to be confirmed by their regularly being late with the payment of wages. Also the dismissed workers are said to be still owed wages. They have received exit papers, but as long as they will have not gotten their more than four months in overdue wages, they refuse to leave the kingdom.
The Saudi Binladen Group was founded in 1931. Osama bin Laden was, being one of the fifty children of founder Sheikh Muhammad bin Laden, until 1993 a shareholder.