Back in 1997, Shannon Marketic, a former Miss USA, sued Jefri Bolkiah, Prince of Brunei, claiming that she and other women were hired for promotional work but instead were held as “virtual prisoners”, drugged and used as sex slaves. Marketic’s lawsuit named Miss USA 1997 Brandi Sherwood as also being a victim, however, Sherwood declined to file her own lawsuit. The Sultan of Brunei denied the claims. After 18 months of litigation, a judge dismissed the suit on the grounds that the sultan had sovereign immunity as head of state.
Brunei is a destination and transit country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking. Some migrants who transit to Brunei become victims of sex trafficking upon arrival in Malaysia or Indonesia. Some Bruneian women and girls are subjected to sex trafficking domestically. Retention of migrant workers’ travel documents by employers or agencies remains a widespread practice, although the law prohibits it.
As the Sultan controversially says that gay people should be stoned to death, in 2019, the British tabloid revealed the insatiable lust of his brother, Jefri, who once spent £600k on statues of him and his fiancé having sex.
With a £45 million mansion, 2,000 custom-made cars and a harem of 40 women, it’s not surprising Prince Jefri Bolkiah used to blow through a reported £30 million a month. The prince, now 64, is the notorious playboy brother of the extremely wealthy Sultan of Brunei.
According to the Sun: The Sultan’s younger sibling dubbed the “sex-crazed prince” is famed for the 40-strong harem he kept in his palace and providing boob jobs for them.
His insatiable lust meant he had people hunting the world for the sexiest women and his erotic tastes led him to buy a super-yacht called ‘Tits’ – with tenders named ‘Nipple 1’ and ‘Nipple 2’.
As afforded by Islamic law, Jefri is reported to have at least three wives, 17 children and 18 adopted wards.
Despite his marital status, Jefri would leave his spouses and kids at home while allegedly sending emissaries away to find the “sexiest women” for his harem of 40 lovers.
Writer Jillian Lauren, who published a book about her time in Jefri’s harem, Some Girls, claims the prince made his lovers call him Robin and approved boob jobs for some of them.
She says sex with him was quick and unprotected, with Jefri slapping her bottom and telling her, “That was very nice for me, I am late for a meeting,” after their first encounter.
She claims the prince was “always famished behind the eyes”.
“It was the kind of hunger you could never really feed, the kind that keeps you up until five am every night, the kind that drives you to have sex with girl after girl, to buy Maserati after Maserati,” she said.
Jillian, who was recruited to the Borneo harem from New York aged just 18, was forced to hand over her passport after arriving there.
During her time in the harem, she allegedly had to keep her weight down and bow to any royals.
She further said: “He would start opening magazines and say, ‘I want that woman,’ ‘I want that one,’ and order them.”
American beauty queen Shannon Marketic accepted a $3,000-a-day job in Brunei to do personal appearances and promotional work, although finally, she ended up being a sex slave. The playboy sultan would always drug the women and forced them to dance throughout the night. When she refused to continue such notorious ordeals, Shannon was barred from leaving Brunei and had to face various forms of intimidation.
Fleets of custom-made luxurious vehicles
Prince Jefri is believed to have owned more than 2,000 custom-made cars at the height of his wealth – including a fleet of Bentleys, Ferraris and Rolls-Royces.
“All had been built individually, where you open the door and along the running board it says, BUILT BY ROLLS-ROYCE FOR HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE JEFRI, and you look at the odometer and it would be four miles,” Vanity Fair reported.
The prince is also said to have snapped up 17 private jets, with merchants from across the world flocking to Brunei to make the most of the Royal’s seemingly endless wallet.
Properties around the world
Prince Jefri owns over 600 hundred properties, including luxury hotels in a number of countries, including New York Palace hotel, Hotel Bel-Air in LA and Plaza Athénée in Paris, as well as two palatial residences in London.
Back in 1997, Jefri’s elder brother, the Sultan of Brunei presented him a mega-compound in Vegas, where he has built a prime Sin City site, comprising 92 rooms, 29 bedrooms, 42 bathrooms, a tennis court and three swimming pools.
Prince Jefri is the head of Brunei Investment Agency.
But, Prince Jefri had to witness his own downfall when he was accused of theft by the Brunei government, which claimed he has embezzled US$ 14.8billion during his time as finance minister between 1986-1998.
Sharia law in Brunei
For decades, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the ruler of Brunei was known as a godfather of excess. The wealthiest man in the world for many years, the sultan of Brunei knew how to spend the vast riches that flowed from the oil deposits bestowed upon the tiny Southeast Asian nation he controls with absolute power.
But in 2019, the 72-year-old sultan of the former British protectorate was in the spotlight for a very different reason as he comes under fire from governments and activists around the world for introducing the Sharia Penal Code, which includes punishments such as death by stoning for adultery or homosexuality, or amputation of limbs for theft.
The introduction of this draconian form of Sharia law was clearly signaling the rising influence of radical Islam across South Asia and a clear indication that the aging monarch wants to finally follow the path of the Turkish Ottoman empire most possibly to burry his families track record of sexual perversion and wastage of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Commenting on this notorious agenda of the rulers of Brunei, Matthew Woolfe, the founder of human rights group The Brunei Project said: Certainly, there are a lot of people talking about the hypocrisy of laws that the sultan and his government are implementing when his family, in the past, could have been seen as being in violation of these laws with some of their antics. Some people see it as a way of cleaning up and perhaps creating his legacy.”
During a rare public address to the nation during the first week of April 2019, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah made a case for moving towards a more conservative form of Islam, telling his people that he wants to see “Islamic teachings in this country grow stronger and more visible,” adding that “this system preserves and guarantees the rights of all the people regardless of their race and faith.”
Sultan Bolkiah’s life is one filled with hyperbole. He was the world’s richest man for many years – before Bill Gates shot past him in the 1990s. His palace – Istana Nurul Iman – in the Brunei capital Bandar Seri Begawan, is the biggest private residence in the world, with 1,788 rooms, 257 bathrooms, and air-conditioned stables for 200 polo ponies.
A cruel dictator
For most of the estimated 450,000 Bruneians – 79 percent of whom are Muslim – the wealth and spending habits of the royal family is something they had to accept without question.
The sultan is essentially a one-man government – the “Supreme Executive Authority” with titles including prime minister, defense minister, finance minister, and foreign affairs minister. The media is tightly controlled; Brunei is ranked as one of the worst countries in the world in the annual press freedom index, coming in at 153 out of 180 – which places it below Russia and Myanmar. Criticism against the family or government is illegal and can result in a jail term for sedition.
Portraits of Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and Queen Saleha are seen beside a slogan in Bahasa Melayu that reads “Obedience to Allah, loyalty to the king, love for the country”.
Stealing public wealth while giving a fraction to the people
Many Bruneians are also willing to turn a blind eye to the excesses inside the palace, experts say, as they are also benefiting from the nation’s oil riches. There is no personal income tax, there is subsidized housing, free education and health care, and of course, low fuel and electricity costs. Per capita, Brunei is the fourth wealthiest country in the world, according to Forbes in 2017.
“They’re probably fairly well insulated from criticism, as the Bruneians are living better than almost anyone else in Asia,” said Michael Auslin of the Hoover Institution. “Here you’re talking about oil wealth that has been spread throughout society, the majority are benefiting.”
Why Brunei wants a stricter Sharia rule?
The only possible reason for Suntan Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah possibly is – he wants to consolidate power by enforcing Sharia rule, which would give him unlimited power in continuing cruelty, intimidation and violation of the rights of the people – by enforcing an Ottoman prototype rule in Brunei.