The Charity Commission has opened a statutory investigation into accusations that money meant for the Prince of Wales’ Prince’s Foundation was diverted to the Mahfouz Foundation.
The probe will look at activities at the Mahfouz Foundation, which was formed by Saudi billionaire Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz. It was formally launched in November, according to the watchdog.
One of Charles’ closest confidants, Michael Fawcett, resigned as CEO of the Prince’s Foundation last week over allegations that he pledged to assist gain a knighthood and British citizenship for Dr Bin Mahfouz, a donor to the prince’s charity. “The commission has been interacting with its trustees since September after media reports suggested that funds meant for the Prince’s Foundation were instead sent to the Mahfouz Foundation,” the commission stated of the Mahfouz Foundation. Some of these monies were then moved to another account.”
The Scottish Charity Regulator is investigating the Prince’s Foundation, which is registered as a charity in Scotland, following claims published in the Sunday Times in September. The purpose of the probe, according to the Scottish watchdog, was to “better comprehend” the Prince’s Foundation’s usage of money. The Mahfouz Foundation appears to have been founded in 2012 with the goal of “promoting and advancing public education in the United Kingdom on the Middle East’s history, literature, language, institutions, and culture.” On the foundation’s website, there is very little information other than a portrait of Mahfouz.
Mahfouz, a 51-year-old businessman and philanthropist, is the son of Dr Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz, one of Saudi Arabia’s wealthiest men. He has generously donated to Oxbridge universities and royal homes, and in 2016, Prince Charles awarded him an honorary CBE in a private ceremony.