Whereabouts of jewels worth $18 mil. owned by ex-wife of Sultan Brunei?
The former wife of the Sultan of Brunei has accused her ex-bodyguard of stealing and selling rare diamonds worth £8.7million( $18 million), replacing them with worthless replicas, the Daily Mail reported Wednesday.
Mariam Aziz, 55, claims her bodyguard, Fatimah Kumin Lim, 34, ‘appropriated’ a diamond bracelet worth £3.5million, and two diamond rings worth £8.7million, in 2008 and 2009, and used them to pay off her gambling debts.
Mrs Aziz’s lawyer Max Mallin, told the High Court Miss Lim had ‘confessed’ to ‘dishonestly’ taking the gems while they were being kept at her employer’s £1.7million home in Kensington, when being questioned by police in Brunei.
However, he added that Miss Lim now claims that confession was ‘forced’ out of her.
She says she was instructed by Mrs Aziz to sell the diamonds to pay off her own gambling debts which, she claims, had been built up by the former royal in her bodyguard’s name.
The court heard that Mrs Aziz’s adopted daughter, Afifa Abdullah, 26, was tricked into ‘lending’ Miss Lim two precious blue and yellow diamond rings, which were never returned.
Miss Abdullah said Miss Lim had asked to borrow the rings twice in November and December 2009, ‘for a few hours [and would] get them back to me straight away.’
She said: ‘She told me she was doing a property deal and asked if she could borrow my mum’s jewellery, something precious from my mum’s collection.
“At the time, I obviously trusted her [Miss Lim]. She was like my best friend.”
She said the bodyguard had begged her not to tell Mrs Aziz when it was discovered the loaned rings had been replaced by replicas.
She told the court how her mother ‘panicked’ when it was discovered that the real rings were missing while one of the replicas was being altered.
Miss Abdullah said her mother did not consent to hand the diamonds to the defendant, adding she had later heard Miss Lim confess to the thefts in Brunei.
Miss Lim, who is not attending the hearing and says she is unrepresented due to lack of funding, is also accused of taking a diamond bracelet from her employer in 2008 and selling it.(Daily Mail)