In June 2018, the police seized more than RM1 billion worth of items in raids at several premises linked to Najib.
Lebanese jeweller directed to pay RM75,000 security costs in RM60m suit against Rosmah
KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 17): The High Court has today directed Lebanese jeweller Global Royalty SAL to pay RM75,000 as security deposit, in its US$14.79 million (RM60 million) suit against Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor over 44 pieces of jewellery that the company sent to the former prime minister’s wife just before the 14th general election last year.
Security costs could be imposed by the court when the plaintiff or the party filing the suit is a foreigner and the defendent is concerned that the company is not able to pay costs, should it lose the suit.
The application was allowed by Justice Wong Chee Lin, following submissions by both Global Royalty SAL’s lawyer and Rosmah’s lawyer today.
Justice Wong ordered that the security costs be deposited by Oct 11 this year, failing which the suit would be struck off.
Initially, Rosmah wanted the company to pay RM500,000 in security costs to the court.
Besides this, Justice Wong also approved the appointment of a court expert on jewellery to identify whether the 44 pieces of jewellery apparently sent to Rosmah, are in police custody.
The decision today was related to theedgemarkets.com by Rosmah’s lawyer Datuk Geethan Ram Vincent who appeared with Rajivan Nambiar, Reza Rahim, Datuk K. Kumaraendran and Lavinia Kumaraendran.
Global Royalty was represented by Datuk David Gurupatham.
Gurupatham also indicated that it is withdrawing its application to amend the statement of claim it filed in the middle of last year.
The court’s decision to appoint an expert, following the company’s claim that it only identified four out of the 44 pieces of jewellery are with the police.
This is despite the police claiming it had seized almost 12,000 pieces of jewellery from several properties in the Klang Valley.
The prosecution had filed a separate RM680 million forfeiture suit against OBYU Holdings Sdn Bhd, who is the owner of an apartment where the jewellery were seized.
Following the inconsistencies and in the interests of justice, the High Court allowed Rosmah’s application, according to Geethan.
Suit filed last year
It was previously reported that Global Royalty had filed the suit on June 26, demanding Rosmah return the 44 pieces of jewellery sent to her for her viewing.
In its statement of claim, Global Royalty, which is an international wholesale jewellery firm, alleged Rosmah had been its long-standing customer and that the firm would send consignments of jewellery to her on request.
She would then evaluate or purchase the items of her choice, which she would pay for on her own or through a third party.
The firm, which has been supplying jewellery for royalty and the rich and famous from all over the world, claimed the items not chosen would normally be returned and, in certain situations, Rosmah would borrow the jewellery and return it to the plaintiff.
The plaintiff also claimed that the defendant would receive the jewellery personally or through its personnel/agent in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Dubai.
The firm claimed that on Feb 10 last year, it had sent 44 pieces of jewellery, including a diamond necklace, earrings, rings, bracelets and a tiara, each worth between US$124,000 and US$925,000, to the defendant by hand, through two of its agents.
During the handover, the defendant also acknowledged and accepted the terms and conditions stated in Memorandum No. 926 relating to the items, the plaintiff said.
Global Royalty claimed that Rosmah, in a letter dated May 22 last year, also confirmed and acknowledged receiving the items, but said the items were no longer in her custody, as they had been seized and were with the Malaysian authorities.
The firm claimed that the plaintiff was the owner of the jewellery at all material times, and that the ownership had never been transferred to Rosmah.
20 August 2018
The government today succeeded in its application to become an intervener in the lawsuit brought by a Lebanese jeweller against Rosmah Mansor, wife of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.
Senior federal counsel Alice Loke Yee Ching, when approached by reporters, said judicial commissioner of the High Court, Wong Chee Lin, had allowed in chambers the application by the government to intervene in the lawsuit.
“With this ruling, Global Royalty Trading SAL will have to amend its statement of claim to include the Malaysian government as the second defendant,” she said.
She also said that the Attorney-General’s Chambers would go through the lawsuit before deciding on its next course of action.
The government had sought to be part of Global Royalty’s suit against Rosmah on the grounds that the jewellery belonged to the government and was bought with stolen money. Rosmah was named as the sole defendant in the suit.
6 August 2018
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 5 — Samer Halimeh New York said today it believed that Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor wanted to wear some of its million-ringgit diamond jewellery at events if Barisan Nasional (BN) won the 14th general election.
Lebanese-born American diamond jeweller Samer Halimeh, whose Beirut-based arm Global Royalty is suing the former prime minister’s wife for the return of 44 pieces of diamond jewellery worth £11.5 million (RM60 million), said Rosmah’s staff contacted Samer Halimeh New York early this year and asked for the jewellery to be delivered to her.
“The First Lady wanted to review the pieces on a ‘try-before-you-buy’ basis. This is standard procedure at the very top end of diamond jewellery retailing,” Samer Halimeh New York said in a statement, referring to Rosmah.
“It is believed that the First Lady wanted to wear some of the delivered jewellery at VIP events if her husband won the 2018 Malaysian general election, held on the 9th May 2018,” the luxury jeweller added, referring to former PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Rosmah is the former prime minister’s wife, not former First Lady as there is no such office in a Westminster democracy like Malaysia.
Samer Halimeh New York, whose diamonds have been worn by celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie and Naomi Campbell, said the 44 pieces of jewellery ordered by Rosmah ranged in price from £95,000 (RM504,233) up to £710,000 (RM3.8 million) and included a diamond ring worth £710,000, two diamond necklaces and matching earrings worth £515,000 (RM2.7 million), and
International diamond jeweller Samer Halimeh together with former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in an undated photograph.
another diamond necklace and earrings worth £450,000 (RM2.4 million).
Halimeh said his company had a 10-year relationship with Rosmah and Najib, which started in London at charity and fashion events and led to Rosmah buying jewellery from him.
“We are very upset and saddened to have to bring a legal suit and court action against Rosmah Mansor the former First Lady in this manner,” he said in the statement.
“We also supplied our VIP jewellery to various events the First Lady and Prime Minister attended in London and other cities.”
The American jeweller, whose flagship premises are in London and Manhattan, said he and his wife even attended the “glittering multi-million” 2015 wedding of Rosmah’s and Najib’s daughter Nooryana Najwa to Daniyar Kessibayev, where he said guests had received Hermes handbags as goodie bags.
“I think it was ordered on anticipation of the couple winning the 2018 general election,” Halimeh said.
Kuala Lumpur: The High Court on Friday set Oct 11 to hear an application by Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor to strike out a suit by a Lebanese wholesale jewellery firm seeking the return of 44 pieces of jewellery, worth US$14.79 million or RM59.83 million, allegedly sent to her for viewing.
Lawyer Datuk Geethan Ram, representing Rosmah, when met by reporters, said it would be heard before judicial commissioner Wong Chee Lin.
On the same day, Wong would also hear an application from the Government to be an intervener in the case, he added.
Geethan was met by reporters after management of the case, which was held in chambers before Senior Assistant Registrar Siti Faraziana Zainuddin.
Another lawyer representing Rosmah, N. Rajivan, said the application to strike out the suit was made on grounds that it breached the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.
He said the jewellery company should have obtained written permission from the Attorney-General’s Chambers before filing the civil suit.
The indemnity claim by the company is premature because the jewellery items were only seized and it had yet to incur losses, he added.
23 July 2018
18 July 2018
Lawyer denies Lebanese firm suing Rosmah is a front
The lawyer representing a Lebanese firm suing former prime minister’s wife Rosmah Mansor has denied speculation that the company is a front.
David Gurupatham said his client Global Royalty Trading SAL is a legitimate part of diamond trader Samer Halimeh’s businesses, which includes a storefront in the Starhill Gallery.
“At the end of the day, it’s obvious this is not a front because you’re talking about 44 pieces of jewellery, out of 1,200 pieces that were seized. It’s a drop of water in the ocean,” Gurupatham is quoted as saying by The Malaysian Insight.
While Samer and Rosmah have been long-term acquaintances as detailed by Malaysiakini’s KiniGuide, Global Royalty Trading was only registered in November 2017.
In the Lebanese government’s companies registry, the firm is described as “carrying out commercial operations in Lebanon and abroad” as well as “carrying out real estate business from the purchase and rentals of apartments and shops”, among others. There is no specific mention of jewellery trading.
This fuelled speculation that the Global Royalty Trading might be a front.
From exclusive gala to RM60m suit: Rosmah’s fallout with Lebanese jewellers
KINIGUIDE | In October 2011, former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak’s wife Rosmah Mansor was in London to attend a charity gala organised by leading diamond trader Samer Halimeh at the five-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
The gala was a lavish affair, with fashion designers, dignitaries, and royalty being photographed at the event, including the Pahang Sultanah Kalsom Abdullah.
Almost seven years later, Rosmah and Samer are now on opposite sides of the courtroom, with the Lebanese jeweller being part of an RM60 million suit against the former.
In this Kiniguide, Malaysiakini explains what the suit entails, and who is involved in the Lebanese company behind the suit.
What is the suit about?
The suit, filed by Lebanese wholesale jeweller Global Royalty Trading SAL on June 26, concerns a consignment of 44 pieces of jewellery which was sent to Rosmah in February and seized by the police in May.
In the court documents, it was stated that the February consignment was delivered to Rosmah by Samer, who was listed as the salesperson and agent, in addition to another individual named Maen Shakhshir.
In the suit, Global Royalty claimed that it is the rightful owner of the 44 items of jewellery which was seized by the police and sought a mandatory order for the items to be returned, or alternatively, for Rosmah to pay an amount based on the value of the jewellery.
What do we know about Global Royalty?
Currently not much is known about Global Royalty, although it describes itself as world-famous.
The biggest shareholder and the director-general of the company was listed as “Lina Hassib Halimeh”.
Unlike Global Royalty, Samer has an online presence on most forms of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as his own website.
A check through Samer’s Instagram page also revealed that he has not only met Rosmah and the Pahang Sultanah, but also met Sarawak governor Abdul Taib Mahmud (photo) in Monaco in May 2014.
However, Samer has also established five storefront locations, in New York, London, Cannes, Riyadh and at the Starhill Gallery in Kuala Lumpur (photo).
Is there any connection between Samer Halimeh and Lina Halimeh?
At this moment, it is unclear whether there is a link between the two Halimehs. Malaysiakini has been unable to unearth any verifiable proof that the pair is connected other than through the lawsuit.
10 July 2018
RM60m worth of gems seized from Najib’s houses from Beirut jeweller?
PETALING JAYA: Did US$14.79 million (RM60 million) worth of jewellery from the estimated RM440 million luxury goods seized from residences linked to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak come from a wholesale jeweller from Lebanon?
Global Royalty Trading SAL, the jeweller based in Beirut, filed the US$14.79 million suit against Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on June 26.
The suit was over a consignment of 44 pieces of jewellery which were sent to Najib’s wife in February. They were said to be seized by the police in May.
Malaysiakini today reported that the Beirut-based firm alleged Rosmah was a long-standing customer.
In the Feb 10 consignment, the report said 44 pieces of jewellery were sent to Rosmah, including diamond necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings and a tiara worth between US$124,000 and US$925,000 each.
Global Royalty cited a letter dated May 22 in which Rosmah allegedly acknowledged receipt of the jewellery. However, it said in its statement of claim that the items were no longer with Rosmah as they had been seized by the authorities.
The report said Global Royalty is seeking a court declaration that it is the rightful owner of the jewellery, and that the items must be returned failing which Rosmah must pay the amount determined based on the value of the pieces.
Global Royalty claimed that as in previous years, the company would send a consignment of jewellery to Rosmah according to her demand for her to evaluate and purchase, and to be paid by her or by a third party, the portal reported.
It added that pieces of jewellery that were not chosen would be returned.
EXCLUSIVE | A well-known wholesale jeweller from Lebanon filed a US$14.79 million (RM59.831 million) suit against Rosmah Mansor last month over a consignment of 44 pieces of jewellery which were sent to her in February, and seized by the police in May.
In documents sighted by Malaysiakini, Global Royalty Trading SAL filed the suit against the wife of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur on June 26 through the firm of Messrs David Gurupatham and Koay.
In its statement of claim, the Beirut-based firm alleged that Rosmah was a long-standing customer, and that the company also sold pieces of jewellery around the world, including to royal families.
Global Royalty claimed that as in previous years, the company would send a consignment of jewellery to Rosmah according to her demand for her to evaluate and purchase, and to be paid by her or by a third party.
The company said pieces of jewellery that were not chosen would be returned.
Global Royalty further alleged that at times, Rosmah would borrow the jewellery, and she or her agent would receive them in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Dubai.
The company claimed that a handover memorandum would accompany the jewellery consignment, describing the terms and conditions.
‘Rosmah acknowledged receiving the items’
Global Royalty, through memorandum number 926 dated Feb 10 this year, had sent the 44 pieces of jewellery, which included diamond necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets and a tiara, each costing between US$124,000 and US$925,000.
The company claimed that Rosmah, in a letter dated May 22, acknowledged receiving those items.
“She had acknowledged in writing on receiving the consignment. However, it is no longer in her custody as it had been seized by the Malaysian authorities,” the statement of claim added.
The terms and conditions of the memorandum included the delivery and return of the jewellery, and that the title of the jewellery remains with the consignor, the owner of the items.
In the suit, Global Royalty sought a declaration from the court that it is the rightful owner of the 44 items of jewellery.
The company further sought a mandatory order for the items to be returned or alternatively, if those items cannot be returned, that Rosmah pays the amount stated based on the value of the jewellery.
The case management on the matter will be held today.
Lebanese jeweller sues Rosmah for RM60 million over seized diamonds
The company says the former prime minister’s wife would sometimes borrow jewellery to evaluate and purchase.
PETALING JAYA: A Lebanese wholesale jeweller has filed a RM60 million suit against Rosmah Mansor for the return of 44 pieces of jewellery seized during police raids of properties linked to her husband Najib Razak in May.
According to Malaysiakini, Global Royalty Trading SAL, a company based in Beirut, filed the US$14.79 million (RM59.831 million) suit against Rosmah at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on June 26.
Last month, the police said over RM1 billion worth of items was seized in raids at several premises linked to Najib after Pakatan Harapan took over Putrajaya in the May 9 polls.
These included 72 bags of cash and valuables, and hundreds of boxes containing luxury handbags.
Thirty-five of the bags contained RM116.7 million in cash while another 25 bags contained 12,000 items of jewellery, including rings and diamond earrings estimated to cost RM440 million in materials alone.
Police said these included 1,400 chains, 2,200 rings, 2,800 pairs of earrings and 14 tiaras. The most valuable piece of jewellery was a white diamond necklace estimated to cost RM6.4 million.