March 20, 2018
Ali AlAhmed and Hani Abndi
Washington DC – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MBS) widely publicized crackdown on corruption appears to have excluded his immediate family, after his brother Khalid shelled out around $20 million on luxurious properties and the charter of a luxury head of State jumbo jet in the past 18 months alone, the Gulf Institute investigation has revealed.
The younger brother of MBS, Khalid bin Salman AlSaud,
also known as KBSA, purchased the $12 million luxurious mansion under an assumed name and regularly charters a luxurious a Boeing 767 at the cost of $30,000 an hour, the Gulf Institute investigation have found.
KBSA, who was appointed by his father as Saudi Ambassador to Washington in April of last year, bought the 24,000 Sq. Ft. brand new mansion on February 17, 2017, sales records show. The mansion known as Le Chateau de Lumiere, the Palace of Light is, located on Georgetown Pike in Great Falls, Virginia 18 miles from Washington DC, our investigation found.
In what appears to be an attempt to hide his identity, KBSA purchased Le Chateau de Lumiere using a front company called Cutlass Properties LLC. Although the Saudi Monarchy is implanting austerity plan KBSA paid $12 million in cash for the property, the highest price ever paid for a home in Great Falls, the Washington Post reported last year.
As of where the 29 year old got the millions to pay for the house, the plane and other expensive items, it is most likely obtained from the country’s oil revenue. The Saudi ruling family has since 1932 amassed hundreds of billions of dollars from the country’s national treasure. There is no word if the US Department of Justice is investigating this as a corruption case.
KBSA, 29, acquired the Versailles-type-mansion before becoming ambassador, when he was in Washington on a student visa to study International Security Affairs at Georgetown University. Cutlass Properties was formed in Virginia on December 22, 2016, through a registered agent, documents show. Robert Dunn, the cofounder and managing director of Washington DC-based Monument Capital Group acted on behalf of KBSA in the incorporation of the company and provided his company’s address as the principal office address for Cutlass Properties, the records show.
Dunn, who lived in Riyadh for years, has enjoyed a long working relationship with the Saudi Monarchy since he established the Carlyle Group first international presence in the Saudi capital. Carlyle is an international private equity firm with ties to major Republican and the Saudi Monarchy figures alike.
Monument Capital Group describes itself on its website as “a global private equity and advisory firm that invests and provides strategic advice in global and national security, sustainable energy and clean water sectors.”
Le Chateau de Lumiere, the Palace of Light was built by Iranian American luxury home builder and developer Mike Mafi, President of The Building Group inc. Mafi has built other luxurious mansions in the Washington area.
The Washington Post ran a profile of the palatial mansion in January 2017. Le Chateau de Lumiere was originally listed for $14 million by Sepideh Farivar of Keller Williams Realty. It has eight bedrooms and 13 bathrooms, The Washington Post reported.
In addition to acquiring the palatial mansion, KBSA has chartered a Boeing 767 luxury Head of State jumbo jet managed by Swiss firm Comlux for his travels to and within the United States. This is the largest private plane chartered by a foreign ambassador in US history, our investigation shows. The Gulf Institute exclusively obtained photos and videos of KBSA arriving at Washington Dulles Airport on this plane.
The plane, VIP B767-200ER, tail number P4-CLA, owned by the government of Kazakhstan and before being used as a charter plane was used as its president’s official plane. The customized plane has the 63 seats, a master bedroom and has 14-hour range, and is currently on sale for $65 million according to the Germany-based website Planespotters.net that tracks planes purchases.
Former Bahraini Ambassador to the United States Lt. Col. Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Rashid al-Khalifa, a military pilot in his own right, reportedly told his dinner guests last year that KBSA “destroyed a perfectly good fighter jet,” one of the guests told the Gulf Institute. Al-Khalifa’s comments were made after the announcement of KBSA’s appointment as Ambassador to the United States in April of last year. Al-Khalifa said KBSA injured his back from the impact of the ejection because of his poor abilities. “KBSA ejected from his aircraft after panicking,” al-Khalifa said. The injury he sustained as a result of his ejection effectively ended his career as a fighter pilot.
KBSA flying abilities were also questioned by other Saudi military pilots currently based in Washington. One Senior Saudi Air Force Officer based in the Office the Saudi Military Attaché, who has asked not to be identified for security reasons, said that KBSA was “a lazy boy and undisciplined during his tenure in the Saudi Royal Air Force. The source said he trained with KBSA in Saudi military schools.
Under the cover of fighting corruption MBS has arrested hundreds of Saudi members of the ruling clan and businessmen. He told CBS News 60 Minutes that he recovered in excess of $100 billion from the Ritz Carlton detentions.
The Gulf Institute contacted the Saudi embassy and offices in Washington to comment on the ambassador’s corruption allegation.
Ali Shihabi, a close aide to KBSA and the Palestinian-Saudi founder of the Saudi-Royal-Court-funded Arabia Foundation in Washington, declined to comment despite several attempts to reach him by phone and email. Shihabi traveled on the plane, our sources confirmed.
The Saudi media office at the embassy also declined to comment. Robert Dunn of the monument Capital Group did not return phone calls.
On the Net:
Ali Shihabi, Founder of Saudi front organization, The Arabia Foundation
Saudi Embassy in Washington DC
The Building Group – Mike Mafi
The monument Capital Group