Adonis Diaries

Why Saad Hariri, current Lebanon PM, donated $16 million to a call girl in 2013?

Posted on: October 3, 2019

Why Saad Hariri, current Lebanon PM, donated $16 million to a call girl?

Love you my Saad“?

In an affidavit cited in the court documents, Ms. van der Merwe (a South Africa model) said she had been recruited at age 19 to travel to an exclusive resort in the Seychelles Islands called The Plantation Club that was “frequented by some of the richest private individuals in the world,” including billionaires “for whom money is no object.”

At this “playground of the super wealthy,” she said, “it is the norm for lavish parties and events to be held” and models were flown in “to lend a sense of glamour and exclusivity.”

The models’ passports were taken when they arrived and they were forbidden from taking photos.

Ms. van der Merwe spent four days at the resort in 2012, and connected with people she met because of her “healthy lifestyle” and other qualities. “I have also been told that I have a very engaging personality,” she said.

Other trips followed. On her first two, she flew economy class. Later, she was upgraded to first or business class.

During a trip in March 2013, she told friends that her “dream car” was the Audi R8. After she returned home, she had an accident that totaled her car and cracked her cellphone screen.

A car dealer soon called her to pick up a new Audi R8 Spyder, which had been paid for and registered in her name. She also received two new cellphones, including one with international roaming, and a Land Rover Evoque.

The two vehicles were worth more than $250,000, a sum that was added to her tax bill.

Her lawyers wrote in 2015 that they were gifts from the same “extremely well-to-do Middle Eastern gentleman” who sent her the money.

When government investigators asked about the $15 million transfer, a bank official said that “the sender and beneficiary are boyfriend/girlfriend and are currently together in the Seychelles.”

Ms. van der Merwe bought properties worth more than $10 million, including a house in Cape Town’s upscale Fresnaye neighborhood with an outdoor swimming pool and commanding ocean views.

She also lent $2.7 million to a real estate company her father was involved with and made other transactions, leaving $537,000 in her account, she said.

The tax authorities considered her claim that the money was a gift implausible and suspected the funds had been for her father, Gary van der Merwe, a businessman who had fought repeated court battles with the tax authorities over his own business dealings.

The authorities levied income tax on the sum, froze Ms. van der Merwe’s assets and appointed a curator to oversee them until the matter was settled.

So Mr. Hariri stepped in again, sending Ms. van der Merwe an additional $1 million to help cover her legal and living expenses, according to court documents.

In correspondence with the tax authorities, Ms. van der Merwe’s lawyers acknowledged it was hard to believe that “such largess was bestowed on a young girl” by someone with whom she had “a casual relationship.” But Ms. van der Merwe insisted the money and cars were gifts for her personal use with no conditions.

She reached a settlement with the tax authorities in 2016, which she appealed last year. A judge dismissed that case this month.

In January, she sued government officials for $65 million in damages she attributed to the tax authorities’ pursuit of her. These documents made Mr. Hariri’s role in the case public this year.

In the suit, she argues that she had to sell the house because the asset freeze prevented her from paying for its upkeep. She also says the court cases and related publicity had caused irreparable damage to her career and severed her link to Mr. Hariri.

By Ben Hubbard

  • BEIRUT, Lebanon —
  • The prime minister of Lebanon gave more than $16 million to a South African bikini model who said they had a romantic relationship after they met at a luxury resort in the Seychelles, according to South African court documents obtained by The New York Times.

The prime minister, Saad Hariri, was not in office when he sent the money starting in 2013, and the transfer does not appear to have violated any Lebanese or South African laws.

He was 43 at the time of the first transfer, in 2013. He was then running family businesses in construction and other domains and living in France and Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Hariri, second from left, with his wife Lara, their son Hussam, left, and President Emmanuel Macron of France in Paris in 2017.

CreditMustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency, via Getty Images

But the revelation in a South African court case this year of the extravagant gifts to a younger model comes during a difficult period for Mr. Hariri, the top Sunni Muslim politician in Lebanon

The gifts have no clear tie to Lebanon’s current economic woes and Mr. Hariri, a married father of three, was sufficiently wealthy to have made the payments himself.

Forbes magazine estimated his net worth in 2013 at $1.9 billion, thanks largely to business interests he inherited after his father, Rafik Hariri, who also served as prime minister, was assassinated in Beirut in 2005.

Note 1: (Actually, no one from the Hariri clan paid inheritance taxes to Lebanon government, thanks to their associate Fouad Seniora, who was minister of finance at the time of the assassination and who became a PM shortly after)

Note 2: Thousands of employees of Saad many enterprises (created by his late father) found themselves out of jobs and have Not been paid for many months. The latest, is closing the Future Movement TV channel “Al Moustakbal“. In Tripoli, demonstrators removed Saad huge picture and burned it.

Note 3: My conjecture is that Saad was paying for the pack of Saudi princes who set up orgies where ever they go abroad. He was the “bouc emissaire” since he is Not considered a prince in Saudi Kingdom and does Not enjoy their many privileges.

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