Doha: An alleged misuse of public funds and abuse of power has landed Qatar's Finance Minister Ali Shareef Al-Emadi in jail as Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Than reportedly stripped him of his post.
Sheikh Tamim also asked Trade and Industry Minister Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari to "carry out the duties of minister of finance", it added on its Twitter page.
While there have been previous high-level arrests in corruption cases in Qatar, official sources said Emadi is the highest-profile figure to face such allegations under Sheikh Tamim.
"The Attorney General ordered the arrest of Minister of Finance Ali Shareef Al-Emadi, (to) question him on what was mentioned in reports regarding crimes related to civil service that involved damage to public money, abuse of function and abuse of power," state media said.
The Qatar News Agency said that an investigation had been launched, but did not give any further details.
Emadi has served as finance minister since 2013. He is also the president of the executive board of the national carrier Qatar Airways and chairman of the board of Qatar National Bank, the region's biggest lender.
He is also on the board of Qatar Investment Authority, the country's sovereign wealth fund.
Qatar-based diplomats told AFP that the arrest had come as a surprise.
"This is great, it shows Qatar is taking corruption seriously -- if that is what it is found to be -- and helps build the image of the rule of law being complied with,"' a diplomat in Doha told AFP.