Rosmah agrees not to sell disputed luxury items

KUALA LUMPUR: Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor (pic) has given an undertaking to the High Court to not dispose of or sell her designer handbags, jewellery and other luxury items disputed in a US$346mil lawsuit filed by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) against her.

The undertaking was made through her lawyers Reza Rahim and Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, in a Zoom proceeding related to an application for a Mareva injunction before Judicial Commissioner Adlin Abdul Majid here yesterday.

A Mareva injunction is a temporary order which restrains the defendant from disposing of assets until the determination of the case between the plaintiff and the defendant.

The ad interim injunction was recorded by the court after 1MDB, which was represented by lawyer Datuk Lim Chee Wee, agreed to the undertaking.

The case is fixed for case management on July 4.

Earlier, 1MDB applied to freeze 11,991 pieces of jewellery, more than 400 luxury handbags and more than 300 watches that were said to be in Rosmah’s control.

Some of the items in the list are a yellow diamond necklace (US$1.77mil or RM8.35mil at current rates), pink diamond bracelet (US$1.2mil) and butterfly-shaped diamond ring (US$1.05mil).

Also listed were two Hermes handbags; Hermes Rose Amethyste Croco Horse Shoe Special Order (US$130,000) and Hermes White with Gray Croco Skin (RM2mil) and a Cecil Purnell Ti watch (RM1mil).

All of the disputed assets said to be in the possession and control of Rosmah were listed in a 612-page appendix.

Muhammad Shafee, however, asked that the injunction not be made solely based on the appendix as the defendant needed to verify whether all of the items were really in his client’s possession.

On May 9, 1MDB, SRC and nine others (including four 1MDB subsidiaries) filed the lawsuit against Rosmah seeking US$364mil belonging to them.

The plaintiffs claimed that Rosmah, the wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, had used the funds from the companies to purchase luxury items such as jewellery, watches and handbags.

Apart from 1MDB, SRC and the four companies, other plaintiffs are Affinity Equity International Partners Ltd, Alsen Chance Holdings Ltd, Blackrock Commodities (Global) Ltd, Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners Ltd and Brightstone Jewellery Ltd.

The plaintiffs named Rosmah as the first defendant and Shabnam Naraindas Daswani (also known as Natasha Mirpuri) as the second defendant.

They claim that Shabnam, who is a fashion designer based in Singapore, had purchased or procured the luxury items on behalf of Rosmah.

The plaintiffs claim that funds from 1MDB and its subsidiaries were channelled to various offshore entities – including Affinity Equity, Alsen Chance, Blackrock Commodities, Blackstone Asia and Brightstone Jewellery – before being paid out to 48 different vendors based in 14 jurisdictions for the luxury goods.

They further claimed the goods sought were “traceable substitute” of 1MDB and its subsidiaries’ trust property, thus the plaintiffs have an equitable proprietary interest in the luxury goods.

They are seeking a court declaration that they have equitable proprietary interest in the good and traceable proceeds in the hands of Rosmah as well as an order for Rosmah to pay the first until the sixth plaintiffs a sum of US$346mil.

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