The Qataris Are Just Handing Suitcases of Cash to Western Leaders

Qatar has bought up much of Washington D.C. That's why the "Iran Deal" keeps moving forward, we nearly fought two wars for the Muslim Brotherhood, and Jamal Khashoggi is the only thing half the city cares about when it comes to the region.

Sometimes the Qataris go a little overboard.

Federal prosecutors have obtained records indicating that John R. Allen, the retired four-star Marine general who commanded all American troops in Afghanistan and now heads a venerable Washington think tank, secretly lobbied for the government of Qatar, lied to investigators about his role and tried to withhold evidence sought by a federal subpoena, according to court documents.

That seems downright discreet compared to Prince Charles.

PRINCE Charles personally accepted €1million in cash stuffed in a suitcase from a controversial Qatari politician, reports say.

The extraordinary payment was one of three totalling €3million the Prince of Wales is said to have received from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani between 2011 and 2015.

The sheikh, the former Prime Minister of Qatar nicknamed HBJ, handed over huge sums of cash in private meetings with Charles, The Sunday Times reports.

At one meeting he reportedly presented €1million - around £861,000 - stuffed into carrier bags from posh grocer Fortnum & Mason.

At another one-to-one meeting at Clarence House in 2015, Charles accepted a holdall containing another €1million.

Two advisers in the royal household hand-counted the cash, said to have been made up of now-discontinued €500 notes.

Private bank Coutts is then understood to have collected the suitcase from Charles’ London residence at the request of palace aides.

Why hand over suitcases full of cash? 

The Qataris spend a whole lot of time and money doing business in the UK. The Qatari Investment Authority recently signed a memorandum to invest $10 billion into the UK. While the Qataris might be medieval barbarians, their presentation is generally pretty slick. This isn't the 70s with sheikhs showing up with suitcases of cash to buy things. There's no reason that Charlie couldn't have gotten a check. It would have been easier and more convenient for everyone.

But the virtue of cash is that it's much harder to trace and dropping off a bunch of cash would provide Charlie with the temptation to pocket some of it. It's a good way to offer bribes to catch a mark doing something blackmailable. 

Does Charles need that money?

As with the Crown Estate, Prince Charles cannot sell the assets belonging to the Duchy, but he can earn money from them. By renting out property to retailers, farmers and residents, the Duchy brought in more than $50 million in revenue last year, $30 million of which went to the Prince of Wales and his descendants to support their respective staffs and operations. Even without the crown, the Duchy of Cornwall is far more lucrative for Charles than the Sovereign Grant, which paid him less than $2.5 million last year. Of that, $7.3 million funded the Prince’s 132 personal staffers, $6.75 million went to taxes and $4.4 million was dedicated to charitable activities, including the Prince’s Trust, Charles’ charity to help unemployed youth.  

It doesn't sound like he's doing that badly. But perhaps impressions are misleading or the Qataris were hoping he would help himself anyway.

Qatar doesn't enjoy the kind of hold on the UK that it does on America. And the Islamic terror state would like to deepen that hold.

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