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Zara Tindall and Sarah Ferguson's lucrative 'secret deals' with Hong Kong tycoon; A company owned by little-known entrepreneur Dr Johnny Hon has been paying hundreds of thousands of pounds to members of the royal family, an investigation has found.

Byline: Charlotte Neal

Members of the royal family have been raking in hundreds of thousands of pounds for assisting a Hong Kong businessman, it is claimed.

An investigation has apparently discovered Princess Anne's daughter Zara Tindall and Prince Andrew's ex-wife Sarah Ferguson were handed the cash in exchange for introducing contacts and giving advice to Dr Johnny Hon.

The tycoon, who owns the Global Group of companies, reportedly paid the Duchess of York nearly [pounds sterling]300,000 from a firm he chairs, plus a [pounds sterling]72,000 retainer for a non-executive director position at his film investment company.

Dr Hon, 47,told the Daily MailFergie's main role was to "introduce a few people to me in Hong Kong".

Meanwhile, the Queen's granddaughter Zara Tindall, 38, earned [pounds sterling]100,000 a year for a non-executive director position, the same investigation reported.

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She was reportedly appointed to advise on horse racing for sports investment arm and, under her contract, obliged to attend only two board meetings per year by telephone and four company functions.

At first, Mrs Tindall's lawyer denied the claims and said it was "wholly untrue" she'd held the position.

However after the Daily Mail provided documentary evidence of the [pounds sterling]100,000-a-year contract the paper says they admitted her role with Dr Hon.

Two weeks ago Mrs Tindall's brother Peter Phillips, 41, signed a deal with the businessman in which he'll receive a salary for his figurehead role at a new horse racing members' club.

The sums claimed to be paid to members of the royal family have come to light following the Mail's four-month probe, and turned the spotlight on how Royals who do not receive a Sovereign Grant fund themselves.

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Entrepreneur Dr Hon has apparently turned his attention to the royals in an attempt to raise his profile to potential investors in the Far East.

He's already launched companies in Britain and Hong Kong, with holding company The Hon Organisation, based in tax haven Vanuatu.

In a frank interview, the Cambridge University graduate said he'd brought them on board "because of what they can do for individual projects".

Until October of last year, The Duchess of York earned a [pounds sterling]72,000-a-year salary as a non-executive director of his Global Group Entertainment Ltd, and was said to have introduced various strategic relationships.

She is also a director of Gate Ventures, a British media investment firm formerly chaired by Dr Hon.

Royal Family secrets

The company was removed from the London junior stock exchange in 2015 after Chinese investors joined and caused the share price to rise 1,500%.

Prior to taking up the directorship, the Duchess was paid [pounds sterling]200,000 in April 2017 for 'marketing and promotion' from an offshore bank.

Gate Ventures then paid her a [pounds sterling]90,000 loan three months later - which her spokesman claims has now been paid back.

He added that both payments were loans from Gate Ventures solely related to her tea-making company Ginger and Moss.

A spokesman for Dr Hon said: "The building of relationships (charitable/business/otherwise) is a mutual beneficial matter -- it is never intended to benefit one party alone."

Mr Phillips and Mrs Tindall refused to comment.

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Credit: Twitter

Zara and Mike Tindall pictured with Dr Johnny Hon

Credit: Twitter

The Duchess of York was paid almost [pounds sterling]300,000 from a firm chaired by Dr Hon

Credit: Twitter

The little-known businessman said he'd brought the royals on board to boost his profile with investors

Credit: Twitter

The yycoon shares pictures of his millionaire lifestyle on social media
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Title Annotation:News,UK News
Publication:Daily Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:9HONG
Date:Aug 10, 2019
Words:631
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