Monaco’s Prince Albert II asked to pay back dodgy Malaysian donation


Did Sarawak Chief Minister pay for Malaysian First Lady’s EUR 100,000 gift to the Prince Albert Foundation?

Bruno Manser Fund, the Swiss rainforest advocacy group, is calling on Monaco ruler Prince Albert II to pay back a controversial 100,000 euro donation he received last year from Malaysia’s First Lady, Rosmah Mansor, for his environmental foundation, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.

Albert was given the cheque by Rosmah in August 2010 at an “Islamic Fashion Show” in Monaco, which was sponsored by the Sarawak government. During the ceremony, Rosmah was accompanied by Sarawak Chief Minister, Abdul Taib Mahmud (“Taib”), and her husband, the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

“The origin of the 100,000 euros is very unclear, and the fund should thus not have been accepted by Prince Albert’s foundation”, the Bruno Manser Fund stated on Thursday. “We suggest that Albert pays back the money to the Penan, Malaysia’s most marginalized people, in order to support their struggle to defend their rainforests against logging.”

The Bruno Manser Fund suspects that the 100,000-euro cheque might have been funded by Taib, who maintains close ties with the Monaco ruler. Taib is the main culprit in the destructive logging of Sarawak’s tropical rainforests, one of the world’s most biodiversity-rich habitats.

“Albert’s relationship with Taib raises a lot of questions”, the Bruno Manser Fund said. “Why is Albert, who is fond of his green image, associating himself with one of the world’s worst environmental criminals?”

In 2008, Albert visited Sarawak with one of Monaco’s top private bankers and London property tycoon Achilleas Kallakis. Last year, Kallakis, a former member of the Prince Albert II Foundation, was charged with £61m of fraud in one of the most serious property frauds in UK history.

The Bruno Manser Fund is afraid that Monaco’s banks might be administering significant Taib corruption assets.

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