17 Apr, 2024 @ 13:35
1 min read

Revealed: How a British refugee charity ‘received more than €2million from a fund linked to exiled King Juan Carlos of Spain’

Prosecutors had been investigation the former monarch's financial affairs
Spain's Emeritus King Juan Carlos asks London court to throw out damages claim from ex-lover
Cordon Press image

A BRITISH refugee charity received donations of more than €2million from a trust fund allegedly linked to King Juan Carlos of Spain, the disgraced and exiled former monarch.

The British Refugee Council, whose patrons include the actress Dame Emma Thompson, told the Spanish daily El País that the charity had received over €2million from a trust fund set up in the 1990s to support the former King of Spain in case he was forced to flee the country due to a coup d’état.

The money was transferred to a new trust in 2004 controlled by Joaquin Romero Maura, a private banker who died two years ago.

A lawyer representing King Juan Carlos, who has lived in a self-imposed exile since 2020, denied any links to the fund which is based on the Channel Island of Jersey, widely regarded as a tax haven. 

The British Refugee Council provides support to those seeking refuge or asylum. Credit: Cordon Press

The exact nature of the relationship between Maura and Juan Carlos is unknown.

Prosecutors investigating Juan Carlos’ financial affairs have claimed that the €15million fund originally belonged to the former King, who abdicated the throne to his son, Felipe, in 2014. 

The British Refugee Council said: “We have received over £2 million. We are not sure how much we will receive in 2024 as we cannot estimate it until the estate has been assessed. There is currently no guaranteed annual contribution, but we expect future payments at the discretion of the trustees overseeing the funds”.

Tamsin Baxter, executive director of fundraising at the British Refugee Council, told The Times: “We are thrilled as this gift will allow us to make a big difference in the lives of refugees and people seeking asylum. Mr Romero Maura was very close to the refugee cause and had close links to the UK, having spent time living in London with his wife. He started being interested in the Refugee Council’s work some years ago, and he visited some of our children’s services and met with our former chief executive”.

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Ben Pawlowski

Ben joined the Olive Press in January 2024 after a four-month stint teaching English in Paraguay. He loves the adrenaline rush of a breaking news story and the tireless work required to uncover an eye-opening exclusive. He is currently based in Barcelona from where he covers the city, the wider Catalunya region, and the north of Spain. Send tips to [email protected]

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