The say that bad things come in threes, but when you’re at the center of one of the world’s most outlandish financial scandals, one that has seen billions go missing, unfortunate developments tend to multiply.
Former first lady Rosmah Mansor’s laundry list of bad news is piling up faster than a newborn’s nappies, with a Lebanese wholesale jeweler recently filing a RM60million (US$14.8 million) suit against her for the return of 44 pieces of jewelry that were seized in relation to police raids on properties linked to her husband, Najib Razak.
Global Royalty Trading SAL, based in Beirut, began proceedings to claim the seized jewels on June 26 in at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
Malaysiakini has highlighted documents that claim that Rosmah had been a “long-standing customer” who was on the receiving end of consignments of sparklers to evaluate and purchase.
Global Royalty alleges that Rosmah would also borrow pieces, and that these were delivered to her either directly or via agents in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Dubai.
Earlier this year, Rosmah was sent the 44 pieces that the firm are attempting to reclaim. This includes diamond necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings and a lonely tiara, worth anywhere between RM500,000 (US$124,000) to RM3.7 million (US$925,000) per piece.
While Rosmah acknowledged the receiving the trove of gems in a letter dated May 22, Global Royalty was later informed that the pieces were no longer in the former First Lady’s possession, and were now residing with authorities.
What’s an unworn tiara to do, but seek a ticket back home to Beirut?
Global Royalty is hoping to do just that, by asking that the courts issue a declaration that the company is the rightful owner of the pieces, and that they be returned. Or that Rosmah pay up for the 44 lots of bling.
Cash flow seems to be a problem for the former Prime Minister and his family – Najib narrowly made bail this week, having had to ask courts to divvy up the RM1 million cash sought by the courts for his release. The final payment installment was made just yesterday.
Last month, police seized over RM1 billion worth of items from several related properties around Kuala Lumpur, including jewels, luxury handbags, and several million dollars in cold, hard cash.
Last week, Najib was charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of abuse of power in relation to RM42 million transferred into his personal bank account from a 1MDB linked company.
He has plead not guilty to all four charges.