Malaysia’s former first lady gets 10 years in prison. A goodbye to Birkin handbags and extravagant lifestyle?

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Last Updated on 3 months by Mukesh

Rosmah Mansor, the former first lady of Malaysia, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for soliciting and receiving bribes in exchange for government contracts. 

The Kuala Lumpur elevated Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said that Mansor, 70, will pay a fine of US$216 million, which is a record amount in Malaysia’s history. The judge added that the prosecution proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt. 

The announcement comes days after her husband, former Prime Minister Najib Razak, was jailed for corruption. 

Currently, Rosmah is out on bail but she will end up in jail if she loses appeals in two higher courts. 

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Rosmah’s extravagant lifestyle 

It appears that the sentencing and the potential jail term will largely impact her extravagant lifestyle, which is defined by her love for expensive handbags and diamond jewellery. 

Reports mentioned that she amassed hundreds of expensive Hermes Birkin handbags when her husband Najib Razak was prime minister. Birkin bags can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece. Her collection includes rare and expensive diamonds as well. 

News agency Reuters reported that police found 12,000 individual items of jewellery, 567 luxury handbags, 423 watches and $26 million in cash at properties linked to the couple. 

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Najib faced unexpected defeat in the 2018 elections when voters were apparently angry and disgusted over a multi-billion dollar corruption scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). 

The probe mentions several details about the scandal and the US and Malaysian investigators say expensive jewellery was purchased for her from some of $4.5 billion in stolen funds, including a $27 million pink diamond necklace. Although, Rosmah has not been charged over 1MDB. 

Later, The Wall Street Journal reported that she spent at least $6 million between 2008 and 2015 on shopping sprees in London, New York and elsewhere. 

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