The Metropolitan Police has launched an investigation into allegations of a ‘cash for honours’ scandal involving Prince Charles’s charity.
The investigation was launched following reports that offers of financial aid were made to the Prince of Wales Foundation to secure honours for a Saudi national.
It has been claimed that Michael Fawcett, the former chief executive of the Prince’s Foundation and one of Charles’s closes aides, tried to secure a knighthood and British citizenship for a billionaire Saudi owner.
The inquiry is being led by the Met’s Special Enquiry Team – the same unit in charge of the ongoing Partygate investigation.
Cash for honours
Scotland Yard said in a statement: “The Metropolitan police service has launched an investigation into allegations of offences under the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925.
“The decision follows an assessment of a September 2021 letter. This related to media reporting alleging offers of help were made to secure honours and citizenship for a Saudi national.
“The Special Enquiry Team has conducted the assessment process which has included contacting those believed to hold relevant information.
“Officers liaised with the Prince’s Foundation about the findings of an independent investigation into fundraising practices. The foundation provided a number of relevant documents.
“These documents were reviewed alongside existing information. The assessment determined an investigation will commence. There have been no arrests or interviews under caution.”
In September last year, the Sunday Times alleged that the billionaire Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz has paid tens of thousands of pounds to fixers with links to Prince Charles who said they could secure him honours and citizenship.
Bin Mahfouz was subsequently awarded a CBE in a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace in November 2016.
He has been one of the most spend-happy donors to the prince’s charities, and even has a forest named after him – the Mahfouz Wood at the 15th-century Castle of Mey, formerly the Queen Mother’s home in Scotland.
His donations of more than £1.5 million have helped to fund renovations of residences used by Charles, as well as a number of other charitable ventures.
In a statement, Clarence House said: “The Prince of Wales had no knowledge of the alleged offer of honours or British citizenship on the basis of donation to his charities”. A spokesperson for the Prince’s Foundation added: “It would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation.”