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Visiting France

Saudi princess's French property to be seized over debts for cars, cleaning, chocolate

media Princess Maha al-Sudairi dodged bills of six million euros at the ShangriLa … (cc) Flickr/Jirka Matousek

A French court has ordered the property of a Saudi princess to be seized to pay off millions of euros-worth of unpaid bills for goods and services that included luxury hire-cars, chauffeurs, dry-cleaning and 6,000-euros-worth of chocolates.

Bailiffs have been ordered to open storage containers rented by Princess Maha

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al-Sudani, the estranged wife of the late Crown Prince Nayef ben Abdel Aziz, to confiscate the art objects, designer clothes, jewellery and leather goods and sell them at auction to settle enormous debts run up on visits to Paris.

Six creditors took the case to court in Nanterre, near Paris, on Wednesday, and won the right to take action.

The princess’s alleged debts include:

  • 1.5 million euros for the hire of two Rolls-Royce Phantoms and “about 30 chauffeurs” to take her shopping;
  • 9,300 euros for dry-cleaning for herself and her staff;
  • 6,000 euros owed to a chocolate shop.

This is not the first time the princess has been in trouble over money matters.

In 2012 she and her 60-strong entourage sneaked out of Paris’s luxury ShangriLa hotel, leaving a debt of six million euros.

In 2009 the Key Largo fashion chain took her to court for 89,000 euros-worth of goods bought in her name.

Although the principal of seizure has been agreed, it may still be difficult for her creditors to be paid.

The princess enjoys diplomatic immunity and the Saudi embassy in Paris shows little sign of wanting to settle the dispute.

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