Prince Charles, heir to the British crown, has accepted a donation of one million pounds (about C$1.56 million) from the bin Laden family to his foundation. The Sunday Times.
According to sources cited in the British newspaper’s story, many of Osama bin Laden’s advisers have pleaded with the foundation not to accept the payment from the wealthy family of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Although members of the Saudi family who disowned Osama bin Laden are not suspected of a crime, the information increases the focus around Prince Charles’ foundation, which is under investigation by police in February.
The investigation aims to establish whether donations to the Prince Charles Foundation were rewarded with honorary titles and used to support a request for citizenship by Saudi businessman Mahfouz Marie Mubarak Ben Mahfouz.
A million-pound donation deal from the Saudi family of Bakr bin Laden (Osama’s half-brother) and his brother Shafiq dates back to 2013, at a meeting between Bakr bin Laden and Prince Charles in London. The Sunday Times.
Foundation chairman Ian Cheshire said five trustees accepted the donation at the time.
The case, which opened an investigation by Scotland Yard, was revealed last year and splashed the 73-year-old heir to the British throne.
His former assistant valet Michael Fawcett, reputedly close to Charles, is suspected of using his influence to help Saudi businessman Ben Mahfouz, a generous donor to charities linked to the British monarchy, secure the decoration.
Denying no wrongdoing, Mr. Mahfouz is said to have donated large sums of money to restoration projects. Michael Fawcett resigned in November 2021.
An investigation by the English regulator of charities was launched last November to examine whether wealthy Saudi businessman Mahfouz’s foundation received donations intended for Prince Charles.
“The investigation will examine whether certain donations received by the Mahfouz Foundation were intended for the organization, whether they were used as intended by the donors and whether they should be returned,” the commission explained at the time.
The Prince Charles Foundation, created in 1986, is not regulated by this commission, but depends on the Scottish Regulator of Charities.
The latter was also investigated, but this time from a Russian donor of several hundred thousand dollars.
The Bin Laden Group, the largest building empire in Saudi Arabia, founded by Osama bin Laden’s father in 1931, has grown rich over the decades thanks to its close ties to the royal family. But now he is in debt.