An exclusive document from a South African court stipulates that Hariri gifted a young South African model $16 million amid an acute financial crisis in his country.
Rabat – Prime Minister of Lebanon Saad Hariri is at the center of a controversy for what critics see as irresponsible spending of taxpayers’ money. The prime minister gifted a South African young bikini model $16 million, the New York Times reported on Monday, September 30.
The South African model, Candice van der Merwe, claimed that she had a romantic relationship with Hariri.
The US news outlet cited documents obtained from a South African court, showing that Hariri was “not in office when he sent the money starting in 2013.”
As Hariri “was not in office” at the time of the transfer in 2013, the documents suggested, the money transfer is not illegal and does not breach the law of either South Africa or Lebanon.Hariri and the South African model met in Seychelles in 2013 at a luxury hotel when the prime minister was “between his two terms as prime minister” and a leader of his political movement, according to the documents.
The New York Times criticized the minister, citing economic crisis and anti-government protests due to economic woes in the country.
Hariri has not yet reacted to the documents.
The model allegedly used the money to get fancy cars and phones.
She is also believed to have told her friends on a trip in 2013 that her dream car was the Audi R8.
“A car dealer soon called her to pick up a new Audi R8 Spyder, which had been paid for and registered in her name.”
The model also received two new cellphones and a Land Rover Evoque car.
The two cars’ value was estimated at more than $250,000. The worth of the two vehicles was added to her tax bill, which led the government to ask about the money transfer.
“The sender and beneficiary are boyfriend/girlfriend and are currently together in Seychelles,” a bank official said.