Najib's in-law accused of not paying for Hermes handbags

NEW YORK • A Kazakh woman, whose son is married to the daughter of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, has been accused in court of failing to pay for a dozen Hermes handbags worth US$400,000 (S$565,000), Malaysiakini online news said yesterday, quoting court documents filed in Manhattan.

Madam Maira Nazarbayeva also allegedly threatened to harm the seller by dropping the name of the Malaysian leader, the website said.

She allegedly ordered the bags from Samilor Enterprises last year and this year but never paid up, the New York Post newspaper reported on Thursday.

Malaysiakini said the court documents showed Samilor president Bella Belkin alleging that she was threatened by the Kazakh woman when she asked for payment, including threats described as "extreme and outrageous".

The threats allegedly included dropping Datuk Seri Najib's name.

Madam Nazarbayeva's son, Mr Daniyar Kessikbayev, was married to Mr Najib's daughter Nooryana Najwa earlier this year, with wedding receptions held in Kuala Lumpur, the Prime Minister's hometown of Pekang in Pahang and in Almaty city, Kazakhstan.

Mrs Belkin is seeking compensation against "unjust enrichment" for the bags, which she claimed were for the buyer's personal use while others were allegedly given away as gifts during the wedding.

She is also seeking damages against Madam Nazarbayeva for intentional infliction of emotional distress, according to Malaysiakini.

The New York Post said Madam Nazarbayeva was married to fertiliser tycoon Bolat Nazarbayev, the brother of the Kazakhstan president.

Malaysiakini said a publicist for Madam Nazarbayeva did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

New York Post said a lawyer for her did not respond to its queries.

A Malaysiakini report said that according to Mr Rizal Mansor, an aide to the Prime Minister's wife, Datin Rosmah Mansor, Madam Nazarbayeva should be heard before judgment on her is passed.

"We are unsure about it, so we need to wait as it is a one-sided claim from Bella. We have to wait for the other side to respond; therefore, we cannot make any comments," Mr Rizal said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 22, 2015, with the headline 'Najib's in-law accused of not paying for Hermes handbags'. Print Edition | Subscribe