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Inside Prince Charles’ £1million ‘cash in a bag’ series – and why it’s wrong

Prince Charles is said to have accepted €3m (£2.5m) in cash from controversial former Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani to contribute to his charity fund

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Prince Charles speaks with Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim al Thani of Qatar in 2010

Prince Charles is facing awkward questions after allegedly accepting €3million (£2.5million) in cash from a controversial billionaire sheikh.

Once, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani is said to have handed him a suitcase filled with €1 million (£860,000) during a meeting at Clarence House.

The former Prime Minister of Qatar’s donations were deposited into accounts for the Prince of Wales’ Charity Fund.

The payments are said to have been made between 2011 and 2015.

One of Charles’ former advisers, who managed some of the cash, recalled the suitcase incident and said, “Everyone was very uncomfortable with the situation.”







Prince Charles is said to have accepted cash from Sheikh Hamad when he was Prime Minister
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On another occasion, cash was allegedly stuffed into tote bags owned by upmarket Fortnum & Mason.

A Sunday times According to reports, the transports were denominated in 500 euro notes.

Royals are advised never to accept cash donations.

A Clarence House spokesman said: “Charity donations received from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim were immediately passed on to one of the Prince’s charities who carried out the appropriate administration and have assured us that all correct processes were being followed.”

Sir Alistair Graham, former chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said the revelations were “really shocking” and “unimaginable” for most people.

The Charity Commission said it will review information about the donations.

Who is the Sheik?







Sheikh Hamad speaking on Syria at a UN Security Council meeting in 2012
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Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani is a former Prime Minister of Qartar and a relative of the Arab country’s ruling family.

The 62-year-old was prime minister from April 2007 to June 2013 and held other high-profile government positions, including foreign minister, for nearly 20 years from 1992.

His estimated net worth is reportedly around £1 billion, making him one of the richest men in the nation.

Nicknamed HBJ in London financial circles, he is described as the “man who bought London” after using his wealth and influence to expand Qatar’s financial assets in the city.

Between 2000 and 2013, HBJ oversaw several investments including Harrods, The Shard, the London Olympic Village and the InterContinental Hotel in Park Lane.

Former Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani is said to have claimed that HBJ owned the country as prime minister, despite ruling the country.







Former Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani,
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HBJ has acknowledged that during his tenure the country “may” have funded the Al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s Syrian wing, without his knowledge.

He was also central to Qatar’s engagement in international diplomacy, including in Yemen and Syria, as well as in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and brokered reconciliations between Africa and the Middle East.

For his latter efforts, he was dubbed a “peacemaker” by his peers.

More recently, his finances have come under scrutiny and the sheikh was named in the 2016 Panama Papers, which revealed he used offshore companies to manage his Mallorca-based superyacht, Al Mirqab.

Also in 2021, he was named in the Pandora Papers, which exposed his use by offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands and the Bahamas.

Why did he give Charles money?







The Prince of Wales with Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim al Thani
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The three donations, totaling 3 million euros (2.5 million pounds sterling), were deposited into Prince of Wales Charitable Fund (PWCF) bank accounts.

The charity provides grants to support and sustain rural communities and improve the prospects for profitability for agricultural and rural businesses.

It was founded by Charles in 1979 and gives around £3million to charity each year, meaning the Sheikh’s donations matched his annual spending.

A Clarence House spokesman said: “Charity donations received from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim were immediately passed on to one of the Prince’s charities who carried out the appropriate administration and have assured us that all correct processes were followed.”

Why was it supposedly wrong?







Charles and Camilla with Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim at Windsor
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While it is not illegal for Charles to accept donations of money from the Sheikh, due diligence should be exercised in treating major donors to avoid scandal or repeated damage to the charities involved.

Meanwhile, royals are advised never to accept cash donations.

And while Clarence House insists all was well, none of the duke’s meetings with Sheikh Hamad appear in the records of the court circular on royal engagements.

Author and former Lib Dem minister Norman Baker said: “One million euros in cash stuffed into pockets or put in a holdall or suitcase and handed over behind closed doors is not what you might expect from a South American drug lord the heir to the British throne.

“That’s sleazy, sleazy behavior.”

The Charity Commission’s guidelines recommend that if a significant donor is from or is affiliated with a company “about which public concerns have been raised, trustees should take further steps to verify the source of the funds”.

However, PWCF chairman Sir Ian Cheshire told the Sunday Times: “Our reviewers signed the donation following a specific request during review.

“There was no failure of governance … The donation was made in cash and that was the donor’s choice.”

What’s happening now?






Royals are advised never to accept cash donations

The Charity Commission said it will review information about the donations.

A Government Department statement said: “We are aware of reports of donations received by the Prince of Wales Charity Foundation.

“We will review the information to see if the Commission has a role to play in this matter.”

A spokesman added that charities would be allowed to accept cash donations.

They said the commission’s guidance “helps trustees exercise due diligence when accepting donations.”

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/inside-prince-charles-1million-cash-27337087 Inside Prince Charles' £1million 'cash in a bag' series - and why it's wrong

Fry Electronics Team

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