Amman: The Credit Suisse Bank leaks published by Guardian shows that the King Abdullah of Jordan was the beneficial owner of at least six Credit Suisse accounts, and used Swiss accounts to hoard massive wealth.
In 2011, as neighbouring Egypt and Syria withered in the face of momentous civil protests, King Abdullah II of Jordan opened two new accounts with Credit Suisse, the Swiss bank that had discreetly served the region’s well-heeled for decades.
Abdullah, one of the world’s longest-serving current monarchs, had chosen a banker that shared his approach to secrecy, particularly surrounding his personal wealth. Over the next five years, the king was the beneficial owner of at least six accounts with Credit Suisse, while his wife, Queen Rania, had another.
According to a massive trove of data leaked from the bank that names both royals as account holders, one account would later be worth a remarkable 230m Swiss francs (£180m).
The Credit Suisse data contains details of 18,000 bank accounts leaked to Süddeutsche Zeitung by a whistleblower who said Swiss banking secrecy laws were “immoral”. The data was shared with the Guardian and 47 other media outlets as part of a global investigation called Suisse secrets.
Abdullah, one of the world’s longest-serving current monarchs, had chosen a banker that shared his approach to secrecy, particularly surrounding his personal wealth. The king was the beneficial owner of at least six accounts with Credit Suisse, while his wife, Queen Rania, had another.
King Abdullah is not required to pay taxes in Jordan, where the monarch is exempt by law. His lawyers said a large proportion of the funds in the Swiss bank derived from inheritance from his father, King Hussein, and there are no inheritance tax laws in Jordan.
The revelations come at an uncomfortable time for King Abdullah and his family, surfacing six months after the monarch featured prominently in the leak of the biggest ever trove of offshore data, the Pandora papers, which revealed he had acquired a $100m luxury property portfolio stretching from Malibu in California to Belgravia in central London.
Details of more offshore accounts will add to allegations that Jordan’s king of 22 years lives a life disconnected from the demanding realities faced by most of its citizens, who live by a different set of rules.
After the publication of the Pandora papers, Jordanian intelligence moved quickly to block online access to stories detailing the revelations about the king’s wealth. The handful of journalists who defied the ban was questioned.
In March last year, the king’s hold on the country was briefly threatened when his half-brother, Prince Hamzah, whom he had ousted as heir 17 years earlier, was detained and two aides convicted of sedition after the apparent early stages of a plot against the throne were uncovered.