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London’s Metropolitan Police has shelved an investigation into an alleged cash-for-honour involving King Charles’ charity, the Prince’s Foundation and a Saudi businessman.

Scotland Yard said on Monday it would take no further action on the investigation. The investigation was launched in February 2022 after The Sunday Times published allegations that Mahfouz Mare Mubarak bin Mahfouz paid tens of thousands of pounds to people connected to the king who It was the Prince of Wales at the time.

In return, go-betweens for the heir to the throne allegedly told the billionaire Saudi businessman they would help him secure honors and British citizenship.

The Met said its special investigation team had contacted “those believed to have relevant information”, contacted the Prince’s Foundation and reviewed more than 200 documents. It also interviewed two men in connection with the case.

After relevant documents were handed over to the Crown Prosecution Service, the statement said “offenses under the Honor (Prevention of Cruelty) Act 1925 and the Bribery Act 2010 have been considered.”

But it added: “Having benefited from the CPS’s early investigation recommendations, and after careful consideration of the information received from the investigation to date, the Met has concluded that no further action will be taken on this matter.”

When the inquiry was launched, Prince Charles denied having any knowledge of the matter. He has not been questioned in connection with the investigation, and no one has been detained or charged.

Former Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker, who in 2021 called on the Met to investigate the allegations published in The Sunday Times, described the police decision to close the case as a “disgrace”.

“You have to conclude that the decision not to proceed is not based on the merits of the case, but on the individuals involved,” he said.

In 2016, Ben Mahfouz was made an Honorary Commander of the British Empire for his services to charity in a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace. A fountain and gardens at Dumfries House in Scotland are also named after him, restored and built by Prince Charles. This is run by his charity.

Dumfries House, Ayrshire © FT Commission

Ben Mahfouz is also an ambassador and patron of the Prince’s Foundation.

There is no indication of any wrongdoing by bin Mahfouz or King Charles.

Following media reports, the foundation launched its own investigation and Michael Fawcett resigned as chief executive of the Prince’s Foundation. He used to be the king’s senior attendant.

The Prince’s Foundation said it “takes note of the Metropolitan Police’s decision. Following the completion of its own independent investigation and governance review last year, the charity will continue to focus on delivering the education and training programs it has established.”

Separately, Scotland’s charity watchdog said on Monday that its investigation into the Prince’s Foundation was still ongoing. Scotland’s charity watchdog has launched an investigation following allegations that the firm of a Conservative peerage, who was ennobled by Prince Charles, stepped in to buy a failed project of the charity.

“The Scottish Charities Regulator is aware of a statement issued today by Scotland Yard regarding allegations of crime under the Honor (Prevention of Cruelty) Act 1925 and the Prince’s Foundation, a charity registered in Scotland,” the watchdog said. “Our separate investigation Other allegations against the charity ongoing. We will issue a report on the matter once the investigation is complete. ”

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