Pragmatism is topping extravagance at a debtor's auction for a playboy prince in Brunei, where bidders have so far paid more for dry-cleaning equipment than for any of the gold-plated items on sale.
After two days of bidding yesterday, the item that had fetched the highest price was a dry-cleaning system at 35,000 Brunei dollars (£14,400), with bowling alley machines coming second at 30,000 Brunei dollars.
Andrew Duckworth, an affiliate partner of Smith Hodgkinson, the British firm organising the auction, said 500,000 Brunei dollars was raised on the first day. The bigger-ticket items go on the block later this week.
The items on sale at the six-day auction include gold-plated lavatory brushes, fire engines, marble slabs and chandeliers. They are among 10,000 moveable assets from the Amedeo development corporation being auctioned to pay hundreds of creditors a fraction of the billions of dollars they are owed. Amedeo, headed by Prince Jefri Bolkiah, the younger brother of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, collapsed during the 1997-98 Asian economic crisis, almost bankrupting Brunei.Amadeo was the vehicle for Brunei to put in place much of its infrastructure – a sports stadium, convention centre, hotels, hospital and roads.
The auction follows a lawsuit brought against Prince Jefri last year for the disappearance of 28 billion Brunei dollars from national coffers. In an out-of-court settlement, the prince agreed to return money taken from the national investment agency, once under his charge.
The prince now lives in London and Paris. (AP)Reuse content