International

Jordan’s king denies impropriety in luxury home purchase

By The Associated Press

Amman: Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Monday denied any foul play in the purchase of luxury homes abroad, citing security needs to keep quiet about the transaction, which reportedly amounts to $100 million. are more than. He said that public money was not used.

The Royal Palace’s comment comes a day after international association of investigative journalists reported that hundreds of world leaders, powerful politicians, billionaires, celebrities, religious leaders and drug dealers have been hiding their investments in mansions, beachfront specialties, yachts and other properties for the past quarter century.

The association said the report is based on a review of around 12 million files received from 14 firms located across the world. The report is being dubbed the “Pandora Papers” because the findings shed light on previously hidden dealings of the elite and corrupt, and how they have collectively used offshore accounts to shield trillions of dollars of wealth.

For example, the investigation found that consultants helped Jordan’s king set up at least three dozen shell companies from 1995 to 2017, helping the monarch buy 14 homes in the US worth more than $106 million And the UK One was a $23 million California ocean-view property. Purchased in 2017 through a British Virgin Islands company. The consultants were identified as an English accountant in Switzerland and lawyers in the British Virgin Islands.

Abdullah denied any foul play, citing security needs to keep the transactions quiet and said that public funds were not used.

“These properties have not been publicized due to security and privacy concerns, and no attempt has been made to secrecy or conceal them, as claimed in these reports,” the Royal Court statement said. “Measures to maintain confidentiality are important for the head of state of Her Majesty’s position.”

The statement described the consortium’s report on their real estate portfolio as “a major security breach and a threat to the safety of Her Majesty and her family”.

The details deal a shameful blow to Abdullah, whose government was embroiled in scandal this year when his half-brother, former Crown Prince Hamza, accused the “ruling system” of corruption and incompetence. King claimed he was the victim of a “malicious conspiracy”, put his half-brother under house arrest and prosecuted two former close associates.

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