Lebanese firm sues Rosmah $20.3 million over 44 pieces of jewellery

Lebanese firm sues Rosmah $20.3 million over 44 pieces of jewellery
PHOTO: Reuters

PETALING JAYA - A Lebanese jewellery firm has filed a RM60 million (S$20.3 million) suit against Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor over 44 pieces of jewellery allegedly sent to her earlier this year and was recently seized by the police.

It was reported that Global Royalty Trading SAL, which is based in Beirut, filed the US$14.79 million suit against her at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on June 26 through Messrs David Gurupatham and Koay.

The firm in its statement of claim, said the former prime minister's wife had acknowledged in a letter on May 22 that she received the items.

Global Royalty Trading said in its statement of claim dated Feb 10 that 44 pieces of jewellery comprising a tiara, diamond necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings were sent to Rosmah.

Malaysian police search places linked to ousted PM Najib

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    The cash and items seized from the six residences linked to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak amounted to between RM900 million (S$304 million) and RM1.1 billion, say the police.

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    He said that more than 12,000 pieces of jewellery - comprising 2,200 rings, 1,400 necklaces, 2,100 bracelets, 2,800 pairs of earrings,1,600 brooches and 14 tiaras were seized.

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    He added that this was the biggest seizure in Malaysian history.

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    Najib's wife Rosmah Mansor arrived at the headquarters of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to have her statement recorded in connection with a suspicious transfer of about $10.6 million (S$14.2 million) from the former 1MDB unit SRC International.

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    The sum is just a fraction of the billions of dollars allegedly siphoned from 1MDB, the state fund that Najib set up, in a scandal that dogged the last three years of his near-decade-long rule and was a key reason why he was voted out in a May 9 election.

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    M. Puravalen, a lawyer acting for Najib and Rosmah in connection with the SRC investigations, told Reuters on Tuesday he had "ceased acting" for Najib and Rosmah.

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    He said a second lawyer, Yusof Zainal Abideen, had also quit.

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    Puravalen, Abideen and other members of their legal team were reported to have walked out because they failed to reach common ground with Najib on several issues.

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    Najib has already made a series of statements to anti-graft investigators

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    but attention has shifted to his wife after police discovered hundreds of luxury handbags and a stash of jewelry and cash during raids on apartments linked to Najib and his family.

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    Malaysian police have seized 284 boxes filled with designer handbags, watches, jewellery and cash in various currencies from three luxury condominiums.

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    Comm Amar said the designer handbags were of various brands including Louis Vuitton and Birkin bags from Hermes.

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    He added that it was impossible for police to estimate the value of the items seized because there were just too many items and cash seized.

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    He also said that the apartment was not owned by Najib but a "Tan Sri".

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    Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Comm Datuk Seri Amar Singh, who led the raids at Pavilion Residences here said this was part of its investigations into 1MDB.

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    This follows a police check of six locations linked to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak here and in Putrajaya, including the Prime Minister's Office, his official residence as well as four other residences.

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    When asked whether Najib would be arrested, he said: "There is no indication that they (the police) will do it."

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    He said Najib and his family were cooperative with police. "They (the police) also acted professionally," he said.

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The statement of claim added that while Rosmah had acknowledged in writing to receiving the consignment, the items were no longer in her custody.

The police raided several houses linked to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for a few days beginning May 16.

Also read: Handbag and jewellery haul puts Rosmah Mansor in spotlight

Global Royalty Trading also alleged in its statement of claim that Rosmah was a long-standing customer and that it would send consignments of jewellery to her on her demand.

She would then evaluate and purchase the items which she paid on her own or through a third party.

The firm added that Rosmah would sometimes loan the jewellery, with the receiving party being herself or her agent in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Dubai.

Global Royalty Trading also said those that were not chosen would be returned.

The jewellery firm is seeking a declaration from the court that it is the rightful owner of the 44 items.

It is also seeking a mandatory order for the items to be returned and failure to do so, Rosmah has to pay the amount based on the value of the items.

Also read: Ex-Malaysian PM Najib explains why he had so many luxury handbags, lots of cash, jewellery

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