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Friday, April 12, 2019

The crudely named luxury yacht

As the luxury yacht magazine LuxdB observes, it is not a good idea to give huge money to the tasteless.

We have all cringed at the news that the tiny, oil-rich kingdom in a corner of Borneo, Brunei, has adopted the cruelest and most barbaric of Sharia law, legalizing the stoning to death of gay men, among others.

What we did not know, most likely, is that the Sultan's brother, Prince Jefri, went to equal extremes as a playboy. 

"Prince Jefri of Brunei is filthy rich, and he spends enormous amounts of money on things like…the Titsmega yacht," runs the LuxdB commentary. "Yes, you read it well, it is called Tits. And to complete the picture, Prince Jefri named the two tenders of the vessel Nipple 1 and Nipple 2.
"The yacht is large enough to accommodate his whole harem (!), as it measures 180 feet and it has several decks. Marble floors, gold furnishings, and elevators connecting the decks, these are just a few of the luxury amenities of the yacht."
The Telegraph caught up with this extraordinary man earlier this month, and to the interviewer's surprise, the Prince did not look extraordinary at all.

Prince Jefri of Brunei appeared to be the ultimate hedonist - but a High Court ruling has made him a wanted man. Richard Fletcher reports:
In the 1990s he was a byword for excess: Prince Jefri Bolkiah, the wayward younger brother of the Sultan of Brunei, who toured the world buying up trophy assets on behalf of the oil-rich state, from the jeweller Asprey & Garrard to the landmark Dorchester hotel.
With his fleet of private planes, including a Boeing 747 allegedly converted to carry polo ponies, million-pound shopping sprees and a luxurious yacht called Tits (complete with the tastefully named tenders Nipple One and Nipple Two), Prince Jefri was the Playboy Prince. 

Yet in person the shy Jefri failed to live up to his billing. When I first met him, in Paris in October 2006, it was impossible to reconcile the impeccably dressed, quiet, restrained man who sat across the table with the profligate prince I had read so much about - the man who for 10 years had been engaged in a bitter battle with his brother, himself at one time the richest man in the world.
The solid silver tissue-box holders and excessive use of gold paint and red fabrics in the opulent Paris apartment, next door to the Ritz hotel, were hardly in the best taste - but the former finance minister of Brunei did not look like the sort of man who would reportedly spend millions of pounds on exotic motor cars.
But spend he did, for several years, until the Asian crisis of the late 1990s brought his high living to an end. Amid the fallout from the financial crash that saw economies crumble across Asia, Prince Jefri found himself accused of misappropriating $8 billion (£4 billion) from Brunei, the tiny Asian state - not much bigger than Norfolk - ruled by his brother.
The resulting row between the prince and the sultan sparked a family feud - and a decade-long legal battle that climaxed this week with a High Court judge in London issuing a warrant for Prince Jefri's arrest after he refused to attend proceedings. In the latest twist to the story, the Playboy Prince is now "on the run".
I wonder if "on the run" involves sailing into some dark secret ocean in his peculiarly named super-yacht ... or something much more mundane.

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