Why would a Saudi Prince with immense wealth get involved in a shady drug deal? It sounds far-fetched, but this is a true story.
In June 1999, a group of narcotics police busted into a dingy house in the suburbs of Paris and discovered a tonne of cocaine. Sources say the drug was flown to France two weeks earlier on a Royal jet belonging to Saudi Arabian Prince, Nayef Al-Shaalan.
Modern Saudi Arabia was founded in the early 20th century by King Abdul Aziz, who was supported by the British Empire. When oil was discovered under the Saudi seas, Abdul Aziz became an incredibly wealthy, powerful man. He took over a dozen wives and fathered more than forty sons.
Prince Nayef is not a direct descendant of Abdul Aziz, but his wife is the daughter of one of Abdul Aziz’s sons. He was a very wealthy man who would have had millions – if not hundreds of millions – of dollars at his disposal.
In the United States, the police were wrapping up an anti-drug trafficking operation called ‘Operation Millennium’. Carlos Ramon and Juan Gabriel Usuga – two Columbian drug traffickers who were nicknamed ‘the Cyclops Brothers’ because they were both blind in one eye – agreed to give the police information about others involved in the drugs trade in exchange for reduced prison sentences. Carlos Ramon started talking about one particular drug-smuggling job in 1999 – a job involving an Arab prince.
After talking to their French counterparts, the US officials were convinced that the two cases were connected, but it was hard to believe. Why would a Saudi prince, who was already far richer than any drug smuggler, be involved in cocaine trafficking? Drug smuggling is punishable by death under Saudi law, so why would the prince risk his life to make money he didn’t need? There had to be more to the story…
For almost two decades, the married prince had been having an affair with Doris Mangeri, a Columbian-born US citizen who lived in Miami.
The two had met in the late 1970s at Miami University. During their time together, the prince bought Mangeri an apartment and opened a Swiss bank account for her. They had a whirlwind romance, but it didn’t last. In 1984, the prince left the US and, according to official records, never returned.
Despite the distance, the two kept in touch for over twenty years. According to the Cyclops brothers, Doris Mangeri was the mastermind behind the whole drug trafficking operation. The police weren’t sure what to think. Mangeri was a softly-spoken mother and realtor who enjoyed an affluent life. She didn’t seem like a drug smuggler.
By the 1990s, Doris Mangeri was twice divorced and lived an upper-class life with her four children. She certainly didn’t need quick money, but the Cyclops brothers alleged that she approached them about a possible drug deal through a middle man called Ivan Lopez.
According to the brothers, Mangeri said she could hook them up with a major international investor and made arrangements for drug trafficker Juan Usaga to meet Prince Nayef. The Cyclops brothers claimed to have met the Prince in Spain and agreed to work together. Were they telling the truth? Was Mangeri the mastermind behind the whole operation? And was anyone else involved?
Find out more in Royal Inquest: Princely Trafficking, exclusively on True Royalty TV.
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