Prince Charles denies any wrongdoing over money bag claim

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LONDON — Prince Charles’ office has denied that the heir to the British throne committed any wrongdoing by accepting bags full of cash as charitable donations from a Qatari politician.

The Sunday Times said the prince received a total of 3 million euros ($3.2 million) from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, the former prime minister of Qatar. He said the money was given to Charles in private meetings between 2011 and 2015 – on one occasion in a suitcase and on another in shopping bags from Fortnum & Mason department store in London.

The newspaper said the money was deposited in the accounts of the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund. He did not allege that anything illegal had been done.

Charles’ office, Clarence House, said in a statement that the donations ‘were immediately transferred to one of the Prince’s charities who exercised appropriate governance and assured us that all correct processes were followed’ .

The prince’s charity fund told the newspaper that it had verified “that the donor was a legitimate and verified counterparty … and our auditors approved the donation after specific investigation during the audit. There was no failure of governance.

The Qatar government communications office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

As Prime Minister of Qatar between 2007 and 2013, Hamad oversaw the oil-rich state’s sovereign wealth fund, which holds major real estate investments around the world, including London’s Shard skyscraper, London Airport, ‘Heathrow and Harrods department store.

London police are now investigating a separate allegation that people associated with another of the prince’s charities, the Prince’s Foundation, offered to help a Saudi billionaire achieve honors and citizenship in return for donations. Clarence House said Charles had no knowledge of any such offer.

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