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From Staff Reports
An expensive legal family war has shed light on the wealth of the Sultan of Brunei, a small country located on the north coast of Malaysia.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who is the country's absolute monarch, is alleged to have secretly transferred $8 billion of state money into his personal bank account, the Telegraph reports. The $8 billion – Brunei's last recorded GNP, in 2005, was $9 billion – was allegedly shifted over four years.
The Sultan is suing his younger brother, Prince Jefri, for $6 billion owed to the state from an out-of-court embezzelment settlement. The prince was alleged to have embezzled $8 billion during the 13 years he was serving as the finance minister of Brunei, known for its rich deposits of oil and natural gas.
But the Sultan, in submitting his financial records, revealed a 50-page list of outlandish gifts totaling $40 billion that he had given beneficiaries – over $28 million for house supervisors, and $12 million for his five public relations officers. There was also a $2.58 million payment for a badminton coach.
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