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Prince Charles's charity mired in further controversy over donor linked to Taiwanese arms deal




  • In US
  • 2021-09-19 18:16:09Z
  • By The Telegraph
Prince Charles pictured earlier this year - Chris Jackson Collection
Prince Charles pictured earlier this year - Chris Jackson Collection  

The Prince of Wales is facing further questions over his charity's funding after it emerged that a Chinese donor is wanted in Taiwan over a historic arms deal.

Bruno Wang made a "generous" donation to the Prince's Foundation, which was used to fund a health and wellness centre at Dumfries House in Ayrshire, where he was pictured with Prince Charles in 2019.

It was claimed on Sunday that Mr Wang is wanted by the Taiwanese authorities for allegedly providing "assistance" to his arms dealer father, Andrew Wang, to secure bribes.

It comes just days after three senior executives at the Prince's Foundation stood down following cash for honours and cash for access allegations.

Regulatory investigation

The Scottish charity regulator (OSCR) is looking into the circumstances surrounding a donation from a Russian banker as well as claims that chief executive Michael Fawcett, Prince Charles's former valet, offered to help secure a knighthood and British citizenship for a billionaire Saudi donor.

The latest allegations involving Mr Wang are understood to have been included in the probe.

The scandal centres on a £2 billion arms deal between France and Taiwan, signed in 1991.

France agreed to supply Taiwan's navy with six frigates. Mr Wang Snr helped broker the deal, but is said to have received millions in kickbacks, according to the Mail on Sunday. Both father and son have denied the claims.

Mr Wang Snr, who died in 2015, left Taiwan in 1993 and never returned. It is alleged that he disappeared before he was due to be questioned about the murder of a navy captain who was about to blow the whistle on the kickbacks.

However, the arms dealer accused the Taiwanese of adding the murder allegation only to improve the chances of his extradition.

Cayman Islands decision

In 2014, a court in the Cayman Islands, where Bruno Wang now lives, dismissed the accusations and said Taiwan's claim was based on "hopelessly general and vague" allegations.

In October 2019, the Taiwanese Supreme Court ruled that Andrew Wang's widow and children were "innocent third parties" who could "not rightly be considered to be co-offenders and who could not be charged with any criminal offence."

However, the Taipei Times, an English-language newspaper in Taiwan, last month reported that a request had been granted to seize more than £300 million in funds held by the Wang family in Swiss bank accounts. Sources close to the family told the Mail on Sunday that the vast majority of these funds had been released.

The Prince's Foundation said it did not discuss individual donations.

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