Prince Charles speaks during a reception on June 11, 2021, in Cornwall, Britain. His foundation is being investigated in a cash-for-honors scandal, the Metropolitan Police said Wednesday. File Photo by Karwai Tang/G7 Cornwall 2021/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 16 (UPI) -- London's Metropolitan Police announced Wednesday they are investigating a "cash-for-honors" scheme linking a billionaire Saudi national with Prince Charles's foundation.
Scotland Yard did not name the Saudi involved, but a published report last year said Mahfouz Marei Mubarak Bin Mahfouz was given a CBE, or award of the British Empire, in 2016 during a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
The report said Mahfouz paid "thousands" to a fixer who had connections with Prince Charles, according to The Guardian.
Prince Harry, Prince Charles' son, said he had cut ties with Mahfouz over "concerns over his motives" and had "expressed his concerns" with his father, according to the Sunday Times.
"The Metropolitan Police Service has launched an investigation into allegations of offenses under the Honors (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925," Scotland Yard said in a statement. "The decision follows an assessment of a September 2021 letter. This related to media reporting alleging offers of help were made to secure honors and citizenship for a Saudi national.
The police said a special inquiry team had conducted an assessment with those they believe have information into the scheme.
"The Foundation provided a number of relevant documents," Scotland Yard said. "These documents were reviewed alongside existing information. The assessment determined an investigation will commence. There have been no arrests or interviews under caution."
When the allegations first surfaced, Michael Fawcett, a close aide to Prince Charles, stepped down as the foundation's chief executive after an internal investigation.