Juan Carlos I, the former king of Spain, was given $1.9m in cash (approximately €1.7m) in 2010 by the king of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa al Jalifa, according to Spanish newspaper El País.
Juan Carlos then gave a suitcase containing all the cash to his former fund manager to deposit in a Swiss bank account of an offshore foundation in the monarch’s name, according to El País.
The newspaper reported on Friday that the father of Spain’s current king, Felipe VI, gave the cash-filled suitcase to his consultant, Arturo Fasana, a Geneva-based wealth manager, stating that it was a gift from the Sultan of Bahrain.
El País reported that Fasana told Swiss public prosecutor Yves Bertossa – whilst testifying in October 2018 – that the handover of the cash took place in 2010, and that he had subsequently deposited it in Switzerland’s Mirabaud bank, in the monarch’s name.
According to the report in El País, Fasana testified that he did not know why Juan Carlos was given the money, and only that ‘he was a highly regarded person in the Gulf countries’.
Public prosecutors in Switzerland are currently investigating a $100m bank account that was held by Spain’s former king Juan Carlos I in Geneva, according to a report first published by Swiss newspaper Tribune de Genève.
The money allegedly originates from a ‘donation’ made in 2007 by the Finance Ministry of Saudi Arabia, at the time that Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was the Saudi king. He died in 2015. The account, in the Swiss Mirabaud Bank, was reportedly in the name of the Lucum Foundation, a former Panamanian entity whose sole beneficiary was Juan Carlos I.
From this account, a ‘gift’ payment of 65m euros was later made in 2012 to Juan Carlos’s former mistress, Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein.
In March it was reported by the British newspaper The Telegraph that Spain’s current king Felipe VI was the second beneficiary of Lucum and another foundation called Zagatka, also under suspicion.
When this came to light, Felipe renounced any future inheritance from his father, the emeritus king, because of the reports of his connection with alleged financial irregularities involving Swiss bank accounts and multi-million donations from Saudi Arabia.
Despite the on-going investigations into the Swiss bank accounts, Spain has so far refused to hold a commission of enquiry in the Spanish Congress.