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Tax Haven Series (Part 1): Qatari Royals Unveiled in Panama Papers


Posted: September 22nd, 2017


DE-Tenants.org is currently rolling out a series of posts on the assets and holdings of the Qatari state and its royal family, Al-Thani. A central figure in our research is Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani (known by his initials “HBJ”), the former Prime Minister of Qatar who ran the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) until 2013, when he stepped down from both posts. Since 2013, however, we have found HBJ still linked to prominent QIA assets and reportedly holding official positions in the Qatari government.

HBJ, a member of the Qatari royalty, has achieved a great deal at the age of 57. He has already held many notable positions in Qatar’s government:

  • Foreign Minister of Qatar (1992-2013)
  • Head of Qatar Investment Authority (2005-2013)
  • Prime Minister of Qatar (2007-2013)

In 2012, Time magazine selected HBJ as one of the world’s 100 most influential people. While the billionaire sheikh stepped down from his positions after the current emir of Qatar assumed power in 2013, HBJ never relinquished his reputation for deal-making.

As such, when HBJ was discovered in the Panama Papers, a massive trove of 11.5 million leaked documents from a murky Panamanian law firm called Mossack Fonseca, it garnered news attention. The Panama Papers exposed over 140 politicians from more than 50 countries connected to offshore companies in 21 tax havens.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the group that published the Panama Papers in 2016 and won a Pulitzer Prize, has provided a full database of the papers’ contents. That database links HBJ to eight corporate firms in three jurisdictions widely regarded as tax havens—namely the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas and Panama.

DE-Tenants.org has already isolated the “Al Thani” family entities that surfaced in the Panama Papers. Throughout the ICIJ records, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani (HBJ) also goes by the name “Sheikh Hamad Jassim J.M. Al-Thani”, but a copy of the latter’s passport confirms that they are the same person. The initials “JM” stand for “Jaber bin Mohammed,” part of HBJ’s full name. The passport features HBJ’s title as Prime Minister of Qatar.

image of top half of HBJ's passport

Using the ICIJ’s reporting, DE-Tenants.org was able to gather additional information to supplement the ICIJ’s findings. However, for today we will merely recap the ICIJ’s initial reporting as our starting place.


HBJ has Four Companies Linked to his $300 million “Super-Yacht”

The ICIJ, citing its documents, reports that in 2002 HBJ acquired a company in the British Virgin Islands and three additional companies in the Bahamas. Through these four companies, HBJ held shares and mooring spaces in the Spanish port of Palma, Mallorca and managed his super-yacht, the $300 million Al Mirqab. Forbes confirmed that as of spring 2016, the 133-meter ( 60 meters longer than any commercial airplane) Al Mirqab had not changed hands, and that the luxurious yacht—which reportedly has a helicopter landing pad, jacuzzi, movie theater, gym and spa—is indeed worth $300 million.

Picture of HBJ's #300 million yacht

Data regarding the four firms linked to HBJ’s super-yacht are outlined below:

Firm Jurisdiction Incorporated Dissolved Associated Address Principals
Trick One Ltd Bahamas 6-MAY-1998 31-DEC-2007 PO Box 4044 Doha Qatar Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani; ANZ One Ltd; ANZ Two Ltd; Yaheeb Holding Ltd; Pride Overseas Holdings Ltd; John Rea
Anoud Al-Doha Limited Bahamas 13-AUG-1998 31-DEC-2009   Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani; ANZ One Ltd; ANZ Two Ltd
Remgreen Properties Ltd British Virgin Islands 14-SEP-1998 30-APR-2008 PO Box 4044 Doha Qatar Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani; unknown bearer
Trick One Management Limited Bahamas 20-APR-2000 31-DEC-2007 N/A Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani; Standard Chartered Grindlays Two Limited

HBJ has Four Companies Linked to Luxembourg Bank Accounts

Per the ICIJ, in 2011, as Qatar started investing in Luxembourg companies, HBJ began to acquire four more companies, all in Panama, to hold bank accounts in Luxembourg. The four companies all linked to a law firm in Luxembourg, Wildgen & Partners.

The first two firms were Knibos Consulting S.A. and Notart Consulting S.A., both founded in February 2011 and controlled by HBJ and four unidentified bearers of shares.

Bearer shares give an ownership interest in a company to the person holding them in their hands. According to the Guardian, they are popular with money launderers and tax evaders—and have been outlawed in many countries in recent years.

Then in July and September of 2013, HBJ took control of Yalis S.A. and Rienne S.A., respectively. As he took control of both firms, HBJ moved out four unidentified bearers of shares from each firm. Joining HBJ in the takeovers was his cousin, the former Emir of Qatar who abdicated in June 2013, Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Hamad Al Thani, according to documents from 2013. HBJ controlled 25% of both companies while the former Emir controlled 75%.

Furthermore, the ICIJ’s Panama Papers identified the former Emir of Qatar in connection with one additional firm: Afrodille S.A. The Emir was the sole shareholder and beneficiary of Afrodille from its inception in January 2014. Like the four Panamanian companies, Afrodille linked to Wildgen & Partners. According to the ICIJ, Afrodille would hold a bank account in Luxembourg and shares in two unidentified South African companies.

Firm Jurisdiction Incorporated Dissolved Associated Address Principals
Knibos Consulting S.A. Panama 7-FEB-2011 Active Wildgen & Partners B.P. 1212 L-1012, Luxembourg Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani; four unidentified bearers
Notart Consulting S.A. Panama 9-FEB-2011 Active Wildgen & Partners B.P. 1212 L-1012, Luxembourg Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani; four unidentified bearers
Rienne S.A. Panama 12-SEP-2011 Active Wildgen & Partners B.P. 1212 L-1012, Luxembourg Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani; Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Hamad Al-Thani; four unidentified bearers
Yalis S.A. Panama 30-SEP-2011 Active Wildgen & Partners B.P. 1212 L-1012, Luxembourg Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani; Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Hamad Al-Thani; four unidentified bearers
Afrodille S.A. British Virgin Islands 2-JAN-2014 Active Wildgen & Partners B.P. 1212 L-1012, Luxembourg Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Hamad Al-Thani



This series of posts continues with Part 2, looking into an HBJ offshore firm that leads to the Qatar Investment Authority.