Despite recently keeping a low profile, former Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassem bin Jaber Al Thani is technically the actual ruler of the rich gas emirate.
The former prime minister had multiple posts in successive Qatari governments; in 1982, he was the minister of agriculture, before becoming the minister of electricity in 1990. Over the years, Bin Jassem had a tendency to keep a low profile. Nonetheless, he orchestrated all the political conspiracies and coups witnessed by the tiny emirate to secure power.
In 1992, then-Emir of Qatar Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani appointed Hamad bin Jassem as the minister of foreign affairs. Hamad bin Jassem aided his cousin Hamad bin Khalifa to topple his father Khalifa bin Hamad. Hamad bin Jassem was rewarded with controlling all the emirate’s apparatuses. Later, in 2007, he became prime minister after serving years as a foreign minister.
The rise of Bin Jassem was financially abnormal, as the former prime minister was the actual controller of the Qatari economy. He secured this privilege by running several lucrative sectors inside the rich gas emirate. He was chairman of the Qatar Electricity & Water Company, Qatari Diar Real Estate Company, and Qatar Sovereign Fund, and a board member of Qatar Petroleum. Hamad bin Jassem managed to accumulate a huge fortune of $6 billion, which eventually enabled the former Qatari prime minister to control Qatar’s stock market.
Hamad bin Jassem’s wealth reveals the size of corruption within the royal family in Qatar. Bin Jassim and his cousin Hamad bin Khalifa managed to take over the Qatari political scene due to their wealth, even after Tamim bin Hamad came into power.
After turning into a political mogul inside the emirate, Hamad bin Jassem decided to expand his fortune and switch to offshore investments. The powerful Qatari figure acquired several shares in Qatar Airways and bought shares in Harrods before it was owned by the Qatari government. The former prime minister also owned 10 percent of El Corte Ingles stores. He later bought Heritage Oil Company for $1.6 billion and shares in Deutsche Bank for $1.4 billion.
Hamad bin Jassem founded Barwa Real Estate Company to use as a front in his multiple international deals; his brother Faisal Bin Jassem is the co-owner of the company. The company was used as an investor arm for the then-prime minister.
The Anglophile prime minister had an infamous incident with the British judicial system after an illegal deal with Barclays Bank in 2008. Hamad bin Jassem, then Qatar’s prime minister and the head of the State’s wealth fund, pumped a total of $7.5 billion into the bank in order to save it from government ownership during the 2008 financial crisis.
Hamad bin Jassem was reported to be the secret bankroller of One Wall Street’s deal. The former prime minister is also the owner of a hotel chain in Britain and multiple real estate in the United States due to his clout among politicians in both countries.
Hamad bin Jassem is accused of receiving an $8.5-million commission from BAE Inc in 1998. The foreign minister at the time persuaded his cousin Hamad bin Khalifa to sign up with BAE in a $613-million arms deal.