On June 11, 2024, Malay Mail reported that 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and its subsidiaries including SRC International Sdn Bhd filed a lawsuit against Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor — the wife of convicted former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.


Rosmah was accused of:

  • Allegedly spending US$346 millionup to RM1.6 billion in today’s exchange rate — to buy luxury items such as jewellery, handbags and watches.
  • The purchases were spread across 320 transactions involving 48 vendors across 14 countries between 2010 and 2014.
  • We first caught whiff of this lawsuit back in May 2024.

Subsequently, 1MDB and its subsidiaries have also filed an injunction. Under it, they are seeking for Rosmah to be:

  • Prevented from removing or disposing her assets
  • Required to disclose all her assets either inside and outside Malaysia, and whether solely or jointly owned
  • Permitted to withdraw only up to RM10,000 a month for living and legal expenses

Why should you care about this case? Malay Mail’s court journalist Kenneth Tee explains:

  • It forms part of the overall large-scale, multi-jurisdictional 1MDB fraud that took place during Najib’s administration.
  • The aforementioned US$346 million came from a RM4 billion loan from the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) — a statutory body which manages the pension scheme for Malaysia’s civil servants. It was meant for investments in various ventures before it was subsequently misappropriated and laundered.
  • The filing of the suit meant the Malaysian government has begun steps to recover said funds from Rosmah, whom they claimed have been “unjustly enriched” at their expense when she got her hands on those luxury goods.

Where were all this alleged shopping happening?

  • At least 14 countries have been identified, with Hong Kong and United Arab Emirates topping the list.

Malay Mail mapped it for you:

Among the more famous high-end brands in the list of vendors were:

  • Richard Mille, luxury Swiss watchmaker popular among collectors
  • Jacob & Co, American brand known for high-end watches and jewellery
  • Lorraine Schwartz, renowned jeweller for celebrities and the red carpet
  • Chatila, Geneva-based high-end jeweller
  • David Morris, a prestigious British brand based on Bond Street

The luxury items allegedly acquired were:

  • Hermès bags: “35cm Rose/Amethyste Croc Horse Shoe Special Order” (RM613,250) and "30cm Himalayan Birkin" (RM424,558)
  • Yellow diamond necklace (RM8.4 million) and a ring featuring a 21.13-carat Emerald-cut Fancy Light Yellow S11 Diamond (RM2.2 million)

So how did Rosmah allegedly buy those luxury items? It was through a series of convoluted money transactions, illustrated below:

Court documents listed not only the 1MDB subsidiaries which filed the suit, but also those accused of being intermediaries as per this chart:

All the intermediaries listed above are already under liquidation, which means they are closing down and their assets are being sold off to pay their debts. Those still existing included Aabar Seychelles Ltd, Good Star Ltd and World Merit Management Ltd.

    What can RM1.6 billion buy? A lot, apparently.

    Besides Rosmah, a woman named Shabnam Naraindas Daswani a.k.a Natasha Mirpuri was also named as a defendant. Who is she?

    • Believed to be a Singaporean fashion designer favoured by Rosmah.
    • In 2015, Sarawak Report wrote that she is Rosmah’s “shopping guru” who helped her to “procure multi-million dollar purchases of jewellery and luxury goods”.
    • Jho Low had reportedly funded Rosmah’s shopping sprees by banking in cash to Mirpuri’s bank account.
    • Rosmah’s personal aide Datuk Rizal Mansor had back then confirmed Mirpuri’s status with Rosmah but denied that the shopping was bankrolled by Low.

    Can’t keep up with all the court cases involving Rosmah? To be honest, it is not easy for us as well.

    Rosmah currently has three other high-profile court cases:

    • In September 2022, Rosmah was found guilty of three charges of corruption with regard to a solar hybrid project worth RM1.25 billion for 369 rural schools in Sarawak, and sentenced her to 10 years in prison as well as a fine of RM970 million. She has appealed and the decision by the Court of Appeal would be heard in October this year. Malay Mail had written about the case extensively ahead of the decision in 2022.
    • She is also facing 12 money laundering charges involving RM7,097,750, and five counts of failure to declare her income to the Inland Revenue Board between December 4, 2013 to June 8, 2017. The criminal trial is ongoing.
    • Lebanese international jewellery firm Global Royalty Trading SAL has also sued Rosmah, seeking the return of 43 diamond necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, a tiara and other fine jewellery sets that are worth between US$124,000 and US$925,000. The suit was withdrawn in 2019 but was re-filed last year.