A controversial politician from Qatar reportedly offered PRINCE Charles €1 million in cash in a suitcase.
Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani is believed to have given the Prince of Wales three unusual payments totalling €3 million between 2011 and 2015.
The money, according to Clarence House, “was delivered promptly to one of the prince’s charities who carried out the relevant covenants and told us that all the proper protocols were followed.”
According to The Sunday Times, the sheikh, also known as HBJ and a former Qatari prime minister, gave Charles enormous sums of cash during their secret encounters.
He reportedly brought €1 million, or £861,000, in carrier bags from upscale grocery store Fortnum & Mason to a meeting.
In 2015, Charles accepted a holdall with a further €1 million at a separate one-on-one encounter at Clarence House.
The money, allegedly made up of now-discontinued €500 notes, was manually tallied by two advisors in the royal household.
The bag was afterwards reportedly picked up by private bank Coutts at the behest of royal staff from Charles’ London home.
Each money was transferred into the accounts of the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund, a covert organisation that distributes grants and supports the prince’s favourite causes as well as his Scottish country home.
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Under the royal gift policy, it is forbidden for royals to accept financial presents in connection with an official engagement or obligation.
As a patron of or on behalf of a charity, they are permitted to collect checks.
The Court Circular, a record of formal obligations taken on by working royals, does not include Prince Charles’ meetings with the sheikh.
But the discovery calls into question the heir to the throne’s judgement, including how much he knew, what he inquired about the money and his objectivity in representing Britain abroad.
In the years following the payments, including during HBJ’s premiership, Prince Charles made several trips to Qatar.
The payments were not allegedly made in an illegal manner.
From 2007 until 2013, Al Thani held the positions of prime minister and minister of foreign affairs for Qatar.
During that period, he forged strong relationships with the British aristocracy. His counsel declined to respond.
PWCF Chairman Sir Ian Cheshire stated on Friday: “At a few hours’ notice from The Sunday Times, we have looked into this event in the past, and confirm that the previous trustees of PWCF discussed the governance and donor relationship, confirming that the donor was a legitimate and verified counterparty, and our auditors signed off on the donation after a specific inquiry during the audit. Governmental oversight was successful.
Later, he said that he was referring to a payment from 2015 and added, “I believe the same assurance extended to earlier donations and look forward to confirming that in due course.
We are disappointed that we weren’t given more time to investigate this incident, which occurred ten years ago, Clarence House stated.
“In the brief time we had on a Saturday, we have confirmed that charitable donations were received from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim and that they were immediately forwarded to one of the prince’s charities, who carried out the necessary governance and have assured us that all the proper processes were followed.”
Coutts stated: “While we preserve the strictest secrecy in relation to the bank’s clients and cannot comment on specific situations, we have long-standing and reliable rules and controls to evaluate the origin, nature, and purpose of significant and unusual transactions.
The bank receives extensive monitoring and oversight, in particular, of cash payments received.
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