Top Saudi figures who were detained in last week’s purge in the country were “beaten and tortured” so badly during their arrest or subsequent interrogations that they required hospital treatment, Middle East Eye reported.

According to people inside the royal court, the scale of the crackdown is much bigger than what Saudi officials admitted, as more than 500 people were arrested and double that number questioned.

Under the banner of an anti-corruption drive, members of the royal family, government ministers and business tycoons were detained after the move went into effect by Crown Prince Mohamme bin Salman’s order.

“Some, but not all, of the top figures arrested were singled out for the most brutal treatment, suffering wounds to the body sustained by classic torture methods,” the MEE reported.

Some of the detainees were tortured to reveal details of their bank account, an anonymous source was quoted by the MEE as saying.

“So far, the Saudi kingdom has used chaos as a policy in its near abroad, either in Iraq, Syria or in Yemen. However, it is now implementing the chaos theory at home too, and no one, least of all the prince himself, can be sure of what will now happen,” an informed person in Riyadh said earlier.

“The stability of the kingdom was built on three pillars: the unity of the al-Saud family, the Islamic character of the state and the flourishing loyal domestic business community. By hitting all three simultaneously, the risk of the kingdom sinking into the sand is very high,” he said.