Officially it is known as the Kingdom of Brunei peace. But the world here does not smell. It smells of oil and gas. From their exports by 90% dependent on the revenue of the budget of the country and welfare of the subjects of the Sultan. They have the right to free education, free health care, free at the Hajj. They do not pay income tax (in Brunei, he is not), and on the day of birth of Sultan receive bonuses. And indeed, the average per capita income in Brunei at $ 25 thousand. Per year. This is one of the highest in Asia. Although, if you subtract what gets the sultan and his entourage, you get a lot less.
"I tried to imagine a place more boring than Brunei, - expressed his impression about this country, Australian writer Charles Arthur, who spent six Brunei years.- Is that an English Village in the winter." In short, the life of the average Bruneians boring and monotonous. Can not be said about the three representatives Bolkiyahov Dynasty: Hassanal brothers, Geoffrey and Mohamed.
According to legend, the beginning of the Brunei Sultans dynasty was laid in 1365 by fourteen brothers "semi-divine origin, heroic Articles". One representative of this ancient clan - Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu`izzaddin Vadaullah. This is the current Sultan of Brunei. Here is his short biography. Born July 15, 1946 in Bandar Seri Begawan, capital of Brunei. He studied at the universities of Brunei and Malaysia. He graduated from the British Sandhurst Royal Military Academy. October 5, 1967, after the abdication of his father al-Marum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddin Saadula Khairy Vaddina, ascended the throne, and August 1, 1968 was crowned with great pomp. Today has absolute power in Brunei: is both the Sultan, prime minister, defense minister, finance minister, religious leader. Three years after declaring independence, Fortune magazine named the Sultan of Brunei`s richest man in the world.
Of the greatest interest in the above is, of course, the last fact. No, where the money - it is clear. But wherever they go, except for gifts kids birthday of the Sultan? And they go mainly to the creation of an Asian version of Beverly Hills with a flotilla of yachts, garages cars (among them 50 "Rolls-Royces" and pink "Cadillac" with a golden roof), art galleries (their decoration - painting Renoir acquired the Sultan for $ 70 mln.), title of parties (one of them, convened on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Hassanal and trapped in the Guinness Book of records, for $ 17 million. made Michael Jackson) and a small harem. While still a prince, Hassanal like his father married a cousin. And when he was the Sultan, he kindled a passion for flight attendant, who became his second wife. But this was not enough for him.
Recently, the Italian radio "Radio 105" reported that two Italian invited to the harem: actress Maria Cucinotta and TV presenter Maria Mattei. Sultan supposedly ready to open its doors for them in the literal sense of the golden palace (1788 rooms, 257 separate bathrooms, gold taps), superior in the Vatican area, and to present expensive gifts: a gold-plated "Ferrari" actress and a gold crown with diamonds sapphires yes journalist. The decoration of the harem was to be dark-skinned model Tyra Banks, which in the case of consent to go down the aisle once would have received as a gift the Pacific island. All three girls refused gifts.
And here are some sketches from the life of Sultan. Leaving abroad, he takes with him no less than 400 suites. Records in his favorite at North American show that the four-day visit of the Sultan and his entourage, who took 100 rooms, cost him $ 1 million in those days, stores Versace and Armani opens votelyah exit trade:. Come with the product and patiently waiting to be invited in the room. "If they like some suit, they buy 100 copies all of the same color I could put the whole country in that I have bought this family.." - Once said a representative of Armani.
Needless to say, the scope of strikes. And yet he does not go to any comparison with the scale of Jeffrey, the youngest of the brothers. Prince Jefri, or PJ (R. J.), as they call it pals - playboy, polygamist, ladies` man, an athlete, a regular partner of Prince Charles for a game of polo. He had four wives - the maximum permissible number of Islam. In his travels around the world accompanied by 50 high-paying "for escort girls," in a society where the prince and his friends have fun in the numerous palaces and villas. None of the girls and did not occur to complain signed lucrative contracts with them. Is that a former Miss America Shannon Marketich filed for the prince to court and accused him that he held her as a sex slave for yourself and your friends.
Jeffrey is not available to the press. When communicating with mere mortals his gestures minimized, and it resembles a murmur. He does not try to impress the journalists - it is not necessary. However, when he decided to become popular in the country, I bought Bruneians satellite TV and ensured round the clock broadcasting your favorite radio station in London. "I am a lustful, lascivious, lustful!" - Rushing out of the speakers of the British hit sounds overlapping plaintive cries of the muezzin. Then Jeffrey built a modern hospital on the island, opened the "Disneyland". It is worth waiting for tourists luxury resort, which Prince vbuhali $ 800 million. It can only be recouped in 60 years at 90 percent, and filling the room $ 500 per night.
But what gifts the Prince presented himself personally. For $ 34 million. It was purchased and then is fully furnished with antiques and works of art house on Park Lane in London, where Prince Jeffrey lived until recently. In Las Vegas, he has built up the largest private residence in the world - the palace area of ??50 thousand m2.. There he has a palace in Beverly Hills ($ 13 mln.). In total, there are about thirty. There you can see: a diamond "Esprit", formerly owned by the royal house of Britain ($ 398 million.); unique carpet, adorned with precious stones and gold threads ($ 8 million.); table for card games, inlaid with precious metals ($ 1.5 mln.); set of 10 gold watches, decorated with erotic figures ($ 8 million.); screen made of gold and precious stones ($ 1 million.); frame for a picture in the form of bamboo stalks, and in fact - of gold and precious stones ($ 4.4 mln.); ceremonial sword ($ 4.2 mln.); set of 10 pens, made in an erotic manner ($ 1.3 mln.). As Sultan, Prince - one of the most popular customer "Rolls-Royce" (in his garage - 600 units).
However, recently, Jeffrey suddenly refused to buy two gold, studded with diamonds Venus figurines. So, anyway, say Manukyans brothers. From 1984 to 1995, being the trustees of Prince, they concluded he ordered a huge number of transactions in the amount of $ 815 million. According to them, statues were also purchased for the Prince brothers and cost under $ 87 thousand. Per piece. Commencement of the trial. Manukyans brought charges against the former client`s claim for $ 130 million., Accusing him of violating the terms of the transaction and material damage. The answer was not long in coming:. Jeffrey immediately put forward a counter-claim, but at $ 163 million, accusing the attorneys of abuse of friendly relations and getting super-profits, hidden from him as a partner. Lawyer Manukyan immediately stated that all transactions were carried out according to existing rules taking into account the "normal risk factors." Hence, the amount of profit - "only" 100%.
The case, which has become the most expensive in the history of Great Britain, was heard in London in February 1998. The always crowded hall of the Supreme Court of the public meetings, with bated breath, eagerly caught every word of the representatives of the parties. He visited at the hearing and Mohamed, the middle brother.
Mohamed, an exemplary Muslim with a single wife, always thought of himself as a worthy heir to the throne and was bitterly offended by choice of his father. He watched from the entertainment brothers, jealous of the younger to the Great (so called Sultan, despite its small growth cue), and quietly saved his anger. While the brothers drove somewhere in Europe on sports cars or played polo in Brunei, Mohamed indulged in fasting, prayer, and meditation on the fate of Brunei.
Reflect was really about. Since the mid 80s, Mohamed was the controlling shareholder of two leading corporations of Brunei, who suddenly collapsed. This was no fault of Mohamed, but the Sultan was very unhappy. And Jeffrey used the occasion to set up Hassanal against the middle brother. Mohamed hid and waited in the wings.
The first case that Mohamed (by the time he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs) has used as a trump card against Jeffrey - this claim of Miss America. But this case is not much had an effect on the Sultan. The second scandal that played into the hands of Mohammed, was the proceedings Manukyan. Two months after the end of the court as directed by Mohamed had frozen the bank accounts of 27 local companies under management Amedeo State Investment Corporation, headed by Jeffrey. PJ and Hassanal was at that time abroad, and when they returned, Mohamed Sultan hastened to explain that Amedeo collapsed under the weight of personal Jeffrey costs. Hassanal, oddly enough, really liked this version. The fact that more recently on the horizon clearly delineated prospects if you do not ruin the Sultanate, the sharp decline in his income. In this situation, the role of the scapegoat is the best suited is the younger brother.
The Asian financial crisis and falling oil prices have led to that state of the sultan, a few years ago is estimated at $ 40 billion., Fell at least twice. However, accurate information on the state of the Sultan as there was no and no. Banks, as they should strictly watch over the secret highborn depositor accounts, and in the Brunei ruler wealth sizes are considered a state secret.
However, some information became available to the general public: Brunei Investment Agency (BIA), which specializes in operations with Sultan means reducing the score at Morgan Grenfell Asset Management 5 billion pounds to a mere 500 million at BIA account in JP investment bank.. Morgan was only $ 1 billion in approximately the same amount -. on account of the Sultan of Citibank. Worst of all had Japanese bank Nomura, where Hassanal left completely ridiculous sum.
Until recently, it was managed by means of the Sultan Jeffrey, who combined the post of Minister of Finance of Brunei and the BIA head. His investment mediocrity has long been obvious to the Sultan, so that the Asian crisis only accelerated the denouement. July 5 last year in the British newspaper The Sunday Telegraph it was reported that an international investigation ordered Hassanal Jeffrey activities. This is not an easy thing do several hundred officials renowned auditing firms Arthur Andersen and KPMG. Around the same time the sultan`s brother released from the post of finance minister and dismissed egoot management company Amedeo. Then, led by Jeffrey was closed construction company Amedeo Development Corp., whose debt has exceeded $ 1.5 billion were arrested $ 2 billion in the accounts of companies controlled by Pee Jay Brunei, including the cellular system and power -.. Perhaps the most expensive building in the industrial country. The investigation showed that since 1993 Jeffrey safely squandered funds, which were in his possession. But how many lost treasury of its financial operations, no one really can not say. According to experts, we can talk about the amount of about $ 10 billion, which were mediocre spent on the purchase of a number of luxury hotels:. Plaz Athenee in Paris, Bel Air, Los Angeles, Palace Hotel in New York City. The investigation revealed a lot of other details. For example, two unexplained transfers for a total amount of $ 60 mln., Which in 1991 paid BIA father of Dodi Fayed, one of the secret intermediaries Bolkiyahov family "shopping".
Geoffrey, of course, tried to justify and blame the Sultan. And even in the exemplary Muslim Mohamed (it turned out that the reclusive also used Amedeo funds gave him $ 40 million. On the arrangement of a personal residence). But Pee Jay even never occurred to deny that it is, to put it mildly, ran his hand into the treasury of the country. Prince only insisted that his pocket confused with the state - this good family tradition, which he adhered. All this meant an open confrontation with his elder brother, who even declared a state of emergency. Jeffrey five months did not show up at home and only in September finally decided to have it out with her brother. When, on October 1, he boarded the plane, closest friends begged him not to do this folly: a meeting with the can end to the prince in the best case a prison, and at worst - death. However, Jeffrey was optimistic. He was only thinking about the upcoming game of badminton or polo.
And the prince was really free. But his stay at home until recently, very much like house arrest. And only recently Brunei officials made it clear that the Prince will not be punished. It simply will lose the opportunity to hold public office and confiscated a certain amount of property. For example, Jeffrey warm nest in Los Angeles turns into a kind of the Palace of Pioneers for children of different cultures. All this, however, does not eliminate the main problems facing the family Bolkiyahov - financial. Many political analysts are already talking about the fact that the situation can improve not so much the rise in the price of oil, as the appearance of the new Sultan of Brunei. Fortunately official candidate already. This is Prince Al-Muhtadi Billah, the eldest son of Hassanal.
24-year-old recently graduated from Oxford Billah. He is interested in billiards and crazy for Bon Jovi. Like his father, Billy was born in the closely-related marriages. His mother - a cousin of the Sultan. He suffers from diabetes, myopia, and God knows what.
The official heir to the throne Billah was proclaimed only on August 10 last year, after a long struggle between the two for sultanas, whose son received this honor. Billah could not hold back tears when his uncle Mohamed announced the decree, where the prince was called "the sole legitimate heir and successor", and the Pope Hassanal strapped to his belt encrusted with precious stones, Chris - the famous Malay dagger with a serpentine blade.
Billah already told, what hopes are assigned to it - hope to strengthen faltering monarchy. But to do that he did not have a lot of time: according to experts, oil reserves in Brunei, which the country owes its prosperity, have already run out in twenty years.