Jefri Bolkiah

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Jefri Bolkiah
Prince of Brunei
Prince Jefri of Brunei by Reginald Gray.jpg
Portrait by Reginald Gray, (1997)
Spouse HH Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Norhayati Rahman, the Princess Consort/Official Wife
Puan Evangeline del Rosario Abdullah
Puan Ayen Munji (Divorced)
Puan Jefrida (Divorced)
Puan Salma Abdullah nee Claire Kelly.
Issue
HH Prince Abdul Hakeem Rahman Bolkiah
HH Prince Bahar Rahman Bolkiah
HH Pengiran Anak Hamidah Rahman Bolkiah
HH Prince Hassan Kiko Munji Bolkiah, Jr.
HH Prince Badi del Rosario Bolkiah
HH Pengiran Anak Joanna del Rosario Bolkiah
HH Pengiran Anak Samantha Richelle del Rosario Bolkiah
HH Karraminah Clarisse del Rosario Bolkiah
HH Prince Faiq Bolkiah
HH Pengiran Anak Haqidah Bolkiah
HH Pengiran Anak Qianah Bolkiah
Father HM Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin III
Mother HM Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Damit
Born (1954-11-06) 6 November 1954 (age 59)
Brunei Brunei Town, Brunei

Prince Jefri Bolkiah, full name His Royal Highness Pengiran Digadong Sahibul Mal Pengiran Muda Jefri Bolkiah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien [1] (born 6 November 1954), is a member of the Brunei Royal Family. His elder brother is Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah.[2]

Prince Jefri was the finance minister of his oil-rich country from 1986 to 1998.[1] He also served as chairman of the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) which invests much of the country's wealth [3] and was responsible for overseas investments.[4] In the wake of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, the sultan had external accountants audit the books of BIA, resulting in charges by the Brunei government that Prince Jefri had embezzled $14.8 billion.[5] He denies the charges but in 2000 agreed to turn over his personal holdings to the government, in return for avoiding criminal prosecution and being allowed to keep a personal residence in Brunei.[6] After numerous legal disputes and appeals, in 2007 Britain's Privy Council ruled that this agreement is enforceable.[3] His various legal issues with the Bruneian state have become the most expensive legal case in British legal history.[7] Prince Jefri is known for his extravagant lifestyle.[6] His personal holdings included a huge art collection, the British jeweller Asprey, The New York Palace Hotel, Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles and Plaza Athénée in Paris.[7] He is married to three wives and divorced from two others[8] and has eighteen children.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Prince Jefri is the youngest brother of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah (the 29th Sultan of Brunei and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam).[2]

He has had five wives, two of whom he is divorced from and three to whom he is still married,[8] and eighteen children[5] aged between around 4 to 37 in 2008.[6] Additionally he has faced a number of accusations, including lawsuits from the women allegedly involved,[10] that he has paid women to go to Brunei to have sex with him[11][12] (see “Other legal issues” below); it is alleged he kept a harem of up to forty women for several years, which included the writer Jillian Lauren, who published a book about her experiences.[13][14] Jillian says that Jefri liked to be called "Robin" by women in the harem, which is also the vanity plate on one of his Bentley Continental Rs.

He was known for his extravagant lifestyle,[6] which included a private Boeing 747,[15] a large art collection including works by Manet, Renoir and at least twenty-one works by Degas,[9] along with a collection of 2000 luxury cars, a number of properties including the Plaza Athénée hotel in Paris and Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles,[9] The New York Palace Hotel in Manhattan, and others in Paris, Las Vegas and St. John's Lodge, in Regent's Park, London,[6] businesses such as the luxury goods manufacturer Asprey, and a yacht named Tits (which came with tenders named Nipple 1 and Nipple 2).[10] His assets were estimated at $1.5 billion.[9] In recent years, due to his legal issues (see below) he has been forced to sell many of his assets and be exiled from Brunei,[6] although as of September 2009 he appears to have been allowed to return to Brunei and has been seen in public with the Royal Family.[7]

Legal issues with Brunei[edit]

Prince Jefri has had a number of legal issues with the state of Brunei, which have amounted to the most costly legal battle in the world.[16]

Brunei is a gas and oil rich state ruled by the Sultan in a constitutional sultanate;[17] the Sultan has control over every aspect of life in Brunei.[18] The Sultan was, at one time, the richest man in the world.[19] From 20 October 1986 to 23 February 1997 Prince Jefri was the Minister of Finance for Brunei,[3] responsible for dealing with revenue from oil and gas through the state body Brunei Investment Agency (BIA),[20] of which Prince Jefri was chairman.[10]

Prince Jefri also owned a network of companies and investment vehicles under the name Amadeo run by his son Hakim,[10] which was used to buy the luxury goods company Asprey and build an amusement park and other projects in Brunei.[19] In July 1998 the Amadeo group collapsed under US$10 billion in debt.[21] Between 1983 and mid-1998 some US$40 billion of what were called "special transfers" were made from the accounts of the BIA.[3]

An independent investigation was undertaken into the circumstances of these special transfers, concluding that in round figures, US$14.8 billion were paid to the accounts of Prince Jefri, US$8 billion to accounts of the Sultan and US$3.8 billion for Government purposes; the destination, purpose and recipients of the remaining transfers were not established.[3] Due to the secretive nature of the state and the blurred lines as to where the royal family’s finances and the state finances began and ended, establishing the true course of events is very difficult.[19]

Prince Jefri was accused of misappropriating state funds to pay for his own personal investments, bought through BIA and Amedeo companies and removed from his position as head of BIA.[22][23] In February 2000 the Bruneian government attempted to obtain a freezing order on Prince Jefri’s overseas assets, which led to him countersuing in New York.[22] Following protracted negotiations a settlement agreement was signed by the Prince in May 2000,[3] the terms of which were never made public.[21] However, Prince Jefri claimed assurances were made to him by the Sultan with regards to keeping certain properties in order to maintain his lifestyle, which BIA denied.[3][21]

In accordance with the settlement agreement signed in 2000, the prince began to return his assets to the state, including more than 500 properties, both in Brunei and abroad, more than 2,000 cars, 100 paintings, five boats, and nine aircraft.[21] In 2001 ten thousand lots of Prince Jefri’s possessions went to auction.[24]

However, the BIA alleged that the Prince failed to uphold the agreement by failing to disclose all his accounts, and allowing money to be taken from frozen accounts,[16] and restarted legal proceedings in order to gain full control of the Prince’s assets. After a number of appeals,[18] this finally reached the Privy Council in London, which can serve as Brunei's highest court of appeal as a result of Brunei's former protectorate status.[25] The Privy Council rejected Prince Jefri's evidence, describing his contention that the agreement allowed for him to retain a number of properties as "simply incredible",[26] and ruled in favour of the Government of Brunei and the BIA; consequently the Prince's appeal was dismissed and he was ordered to return the rest of his assets to Brunei.[3]

The decision of the Privy Council did not end the litigation between Prince Jefri and the BIA. The BIA re-opened proceedings in Malaysia and the Cayman Islands, resulting in the BIA gaining control over the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles and The New York Palace Hotel in Manhattan.[27]

The BIA also re-opened collateral litigation in the British High Court. After winning before the Privy Council, the BIA asked the court to determine whether Prince Jefri should be held in contempt of court for allegedly making misstatements in his listing of assets. The contempt proceeding was scheduled for a hearing in June 2008, but the Prince did not attend, instead going to Paris.[16][28] Judge Peter Smith did not rule on whether Prince Jefri was in contempt, but did issue a warrant for his arrest.[29] As of November 2010, the warrant still appears to be in place, meaning the Prince will be arrested if he enters the UK.[30]

As of October 2009, Prince Jefri appears to have been allowed back to Brunei.[7]

Other legal issues[edit]

In 1997 Shannon Marketic, a former Miss USA, accused Prince Jefri and the Sultan, among others, of flying her and many other women to Brunei under false pretenses to be part of a harem, and that she was abused by those in the royal court. She claims she was made part of Prince Jefri's personal harem of women that was made to carry out the prince's every sexual whim, such as to "lick him clean", where the women were made to lick the prince's naked body.[12] The case was settled out of court.[31]

In February 1998 Prince Jefri was sued by his former business partners Bob and Rafi Manoukian for £80 million over two property deals they claim he reneged upon;[32] the Manoukians claimed he flew in prostitutes from around the world and led a wildly extravagant lifestyle.[33] The Prince countersued, then settled out of court.[31][34]

In 2006, the Prince began legal proceedings against his former advisors, the barrister Thomas Derbyshire and his wife Faith Zaman, in both the UK and US,[35] accusing them of stealing funds from him.[36] The pair had worked for Prince Jefri since 2004, were given authority over a number of the Prince's companies, and were accused of using proceeds from property sales for their own benefit and charging personal expenses to corporate credit cards.[37] However, they contended no money was taken and all the contested purchases were for the use of the Prince and his family,[38] and counter-sued for US$12 million they claim they were owed.[37] The case is estimated to have cost Brunei US$60 million to litigate despite the value of the court case being US$7 million[39] and Prince Jefri being a key witness for the State of Brunei, which has repeatedly taken him to court,[40] challenging his compliance with court orders and questioning his veracity.[26] In November 2010, pictures of statues the Prince had made of him and his fiancee having sex were leaked.[41] [42] Various details, such as previous challenges by BIA to Prince Jefri's credibility, the wealth of Prince Jefri, the Sultan and the state of Brunei, his multiple wives, the statues and the still-in-effect British warrant for the Prince's arrest were banned from being mentioned in the courtroom as Judge Ira Gammerman ruled they were irrelevant to the case.[43][44] After nearly six weeks of trial, the jury returned a unanimous verdict[45] against the Prince on all but one count.[46] The Prince and the New York Palace Hotel were ordered to pay the Derbyshires US$21 million in total.[47] Brunei has stated it intends to appeal.[46]

The Prince’s legal advisor and spokesman is David Sandy,[5] a partner at Simmons & Simmons.

Honours[edit]

See also List of honours of the Bruneian Royal Family by country

He has been awarded :[48]

Bruneian honours[edit]

Malaysian honours[edit]

Foreign honours[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ministry of Finance". The Government of Brunei Darussalam Official Website. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  2. ^ a b "Sultan of Brunei Sacks Brother". BBC News. July 29, 1998. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "His Royal Highness Prince Jefri Bolkiah and others v. The State of Brunei Darussalam and Brunei Investment Agency Privy Council Appeal No 69 of 2006, Judgment of the Lords of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council" (RTF). 8 November 2007. Retrieved 20 October 2010. 
  4. ^ "Royal riches and family embarrassment". BBC News. August 9, 1998. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c Maremont, Mark (September 25, 2009). "Royal Dispute Over Billions in Brunei Nears a Resolution". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 19, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Is the party over for runaway billionaire Prince Jefri of Brunei?". The Daily Telegraph. June 14, 2008. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c d Kay, Richard (September 28, 2009). "Sultan of Brunei buries the hatchet with his playboy brother". Mail Online. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b Savage, Jared (March 16, 2008). "From corner shop princess to billionaire wife". nzherald.co.nz. Retrieved October 1, 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c d Maremont, Mark (March 1, 2008). "Will the Prince Turn Pauper? Billions Later, Jefri's in a Royal Mess". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 2, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c d Usborne, David (February 9, 2006). "The Brunei royal family: The Sultan, his brother and an £8 billion family feud". The Independent. Retrieved October 10, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Suing the Sultan". People. June 23, 1997. Retrieved October 12, 2010. 
  12. ^ a b "Potentate Power: Sultan Swats Sex Slave Suit". The Smoking Gun. July 14, 1997. Retrieved 23 October 2010. 
  13. ^ Wright, Jennifer (April 23, 2010). "Interview With a (Former) Harem Girl: We Talk To Jillian Lauren About 'Some Girls'". thegloss.com. Retrieved October 10, 2010. 
  14. ^ Lauren, Jillian (2010). Some Girls: My Life in a Harem. New York: Plume. ISBN 978-0-452-29631-2. 
  15. ^ Sabbagh, Dan (July 28, 2010). "Playboy of the Eastern World". London: The Times. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  16. ^ a b c Alderson, Andrew (June 14, 2008). "Prince Jefri blames brother Sultan of Brunei for family feud". The Telegraph. Retrieved October 19, 2010. 
  17. ^ "East and Southeast Asia: Brunei". The World Factbook. CIA. November 3, 2010. Retrieved November 5, 2010. 
  18. ^ a b Pierce, Andrew (March 7, 2006). "Sultan's brother told to repay billions". London: The Times. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  19. ^ a b c Landler, Mark (August 27, 1998). "The Royal Treatment; Ruling Family Feuds as Oil Income Drops in Brunei". The New York Times. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Ministry of Finance". Official Website. The Government of Brunei Darussalam. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  21. ^ a b c d "A Scandal's Sting Eases in Brunei". BW Online. November 17, 2000. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  22. ^ a b Temko, Ned (July 29, 2007). "Battle royal for riches of the Sultan". The Observer. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  23. ^ Mitton, Roger (March 10, 2000). "'Everyone Was Shocked'". Asiaweek 26 (9). Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  24. ^ Stephen, Ignatius; Spillius, Alex (August 12, 2001). "Prince Jefri's shame goes under the hammer". The Telegraph. Retrieved October 10, 2010. 
  25. ^ "Brunei Darussalam country brief". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government. Retrieved October 10, 2010. 
  26. ^ a b Bolkiah & Ors v. The State of Brunei Darussalam & Anor (Brunei Darussalam) [2007] UKPC 63 (8 November 2007), Privy Council (on appeal from The Court of Appeal of Brunei Darussalam) Retrieved November 9, 2010.
  27. ^ Walsh, Dominic (July 28, 2008). "New York Palace joins Dorchester stable". London: The Times. Retrieved October 10, 2010. 
  28. ^ "Arrest warrant for Brunei prince". BBC News. June 12, 2008. Retrieved 1 October 2010. 
  29. ^ "Transcript of proceedings of 11 June 2008, Brunei v. Bolkiah, High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, Claim No. HC00007888" (PDF). thomsonreuters.com. 
  30. ^ Hosenball, Mark (November 4, 2010). "The fresh Prince of Brunei". reuters.com. Retrieved November 9, 2010. 
  31. ^ a b "Profligate Prince Jefri". Newsweek. April 10, 2010. Retrieved 1 November 2010. 
  32. ^ Marks, Kathy (February 10, 1998). "Richest man's brother branded a liar in case that could expose secrets of Brunei royalty". The Independent. Retrieved 29 October 2010. 
  33. ^ Watson-Smyth, Kate (February 13, 1998). "Brother of world's richest man 'had unlimited tastes'". The Independent. Retrieved 10 October 2010. 
  34. ^ Boggan, Steve (16 March 1998). "Prince Jefri of Brunei settles out of court in pounds 180m claim". The Independent. Retrieved 10 October 2010. 
  35. ^ Kennedy, Dominic (January 16, 2007). "Sultan's brother stole $37.5bn, claim barristers". The Australian. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  36. ^ Randall, David (December 3, 2006). "The Prince, his yacht, the property deals - and a very bitter court case". The Independent. Retrieved October 14, 2010. 
  37. ^ a b Swaine, Jon (November 11, 2010). "British couple 'stole millions from Brunei prince'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved November 15, 2010. 
  38. ^ Kennedy, Dominic (December 28, 2006). "'Drop case or we will spill your secrets'". The Times (London). Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  39. ^ Martinez, Jose (November 8, 2010). "Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei, spent $60 million to litigate a court case worth only $7 million". Daily News. Retrieved November 9, 2010. 
  40. ^ Hosenball, Mark (November 4, 2010). "Special Report: A prince, a sultan, diamonds and a lawsuit". Reuters. Retrieved November 9, 2010. 
  41. ^ "Prince of Brunei wants graphic sex statues of himself barred from New York courtroom". Mail Online. November 6, 2010. Retrieved November 6, 2010. 
  42. ^ .. Prince Jefri doesn't want jurors to see pics .., New York Post, Dareh Gregorian, 3 November 2010
  43. ^ Gregorian, Dareh (November 11, 2010). "Judge bans prince porn". New York Post. Retrieved November 15, 2010. 
  44. ^ Casa De Meadows Inc. v. Faith F. Zaman, 601685- 2007, New York State Supreme Court (Manhattan)
  45. ^ "British Lawyers Represented by Baker & Hostetler LLP Prevail in Legal Battle With the Sultan of Brunei and Prince Jefri Bolkiah". Baker Hostetler. December 20, 2010. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
  46. ^ a b Swaine, Jon (December 16, 2010). "British couple win legal dispute with Sultan of Brunei's playboy brother". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
  47. ^ Pilkington, Ed (December 16, 2010). "Brunei prince loses embarrassing lawsuit against financial advisers". The Guardian. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
  48. ^ Royal Ark, Brunei genealogy details p.13