Police launch ‘cash for honours’ investigation into The Prince's Foundation

17 Feb 2022 News

The Metropolitan Police have opened a cash-for-honours investigation into allegations regarding The Prince’s Foundation.

Officers will investigate claims that staff at the charity offered to help a billionaire donor in his bid for British citizenship and an honour.

The force said yesterday that it had “liaised” with The Prince’s Foundation and reviewed documents provided by the charity before deciding to open an investigation.

The Foundation told Civil Society News that it would not be appropriate for them to comment while the police investigated.

Police: We reviewed charity documents

The police have launched an investigation under laws governing the potential abuse of the honours system.

In a statement, the force said: “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.”

A spokesperson for the charity said that it would be “inappropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation”, although it is understood that The Prince’s Foundation continues to cooperate with the police.

Two senior staff have already quit

The investigation comes after a series of allegations about senior members of Prince’s Foundation staff made in the Sunday Times newspaper last year.

The Times reported that donations to the charity, by the Russian businessman Dmitry Leus and Saudi billionaire Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz, were used to try and influence the heir to the throne.

The police investigation is focused on the involvement of Mahfouz, who received a letter from Prince Charles thanking him for his donations to the Foundation and would later receive a CBE, according to the Times.

Michael Fawcett, a long-time aide to Prince Charles and the chief executive of The Prince’s Foundation, resigned from the role in November. Chris Martin, the charity’s executive director, quit last month.

There was no answer on the contact number Mr Mahfouz provides for his own charity, The Mahfouz Foundation.

Regulator has ‘supported’ police

The Scottish Charity Regulator, OSCR, opened its own inquiry into The Prince’s Foundation in September.

A spokesperson said: “OSCR have supported the Metropolitan Police with their enquiries on this matter as we continue with our own investigation into the actions of the Princes Foundation.

“We will publish the findings of our independent investigation in due course.”

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