The Lebanese prime minister has handed over more than $16 million to a South African bikini model according to court reports.
Saad Hariri, 49, who is a married father of three, met Candice van der Merwe, 26, in the Seychelles at a luxury resort approximately six years ago.
Court records show that Ms van der Merwe received almost $15.3 million in 2013 from Hariri.
Saad Hariri, 49, who is a married father of three, met Candice van der Merwe in the Seychelles at a luxury resort approximately six years ago
Candice van der Merwe, pictured, is suing South African tax authorities after they launched an investigation into the generous gifts. Ms van der Merwe’s legal team claims the probe destroyed her relationship with Hariri and damaged her reputation
The New York Times reported Hariri later handed Ms van der Merwe a further $1,000,000 after tax authorities queried the initial gift.
It was during the tax case that it emerged that Hariri had funded Ms van der Merwe’s lifestyle.
Hariri is believed to be worth in the region of $1.5bn and there is no suggestion he had mis-appropriated funds from the state.
He inherited his money from his father Rafic Hariri who was assassinated in 2005.
The South African court has has shown that the money was transferred between the Lebanese politician and the bikini model when he was not in office.
In court documents, Ms van der Merwe said eh was brought to the Seychelles resort when she was 19.
The Plantation Club was ‘frequented by some of the richest private individuals in the world’.
She said models were routinely flown into the club ‘to lend a sense of glamour and exclusivity’ during parties.
She said the billionaires visiting the club were people ‘for whom money is no object’.
Tax authorities also claimed she needed to pay tax on an Audi R8 Spyder as well as a Land Rover Evoque.
According to court documents, Ms van der Merwe is suing South African authorities for $65 million over their attempts to investigate her wealth.
She said she was forced to sell her property portfolio as her assets were frozen during the investigation.
Her legal team said she was looking for compensation over the impact the tax investigation had on her career and her relationship with Hariri.
According to the documents: ‘The plaintiff’s relationship with Mr. Hariri was terminated, which resulted in the loss of financial benefits that would have accrued to her from the relationship if it had been allowed to persist without outside interference.