Saudi billionaire gains legal immunity in Britain with career as Saint Lucia diplomat

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Saudi billionaire gains legal immunity in Britain with career as Saint Lucia diplomat
Walid Juffali (R) at his Venetian wedding to Loujain Adada (L) in November 2012 .
Walid Juffali (R) at his Venetian wedding to Loujain Adada (L) in November 2012 .
Walid Juffali (R) at his Venetian wedding to Loujain Adada (L) in November 2012 .

THE TELEGRAPH (UK) – One of Saudi Arabia’s most prominent billionaires has gained legal immunity in Britain ever since his appointment as a Caribbean diplomat representing the island nation of St Lucia.

Walid Juffali appears on the London Diplomatic List as St Lucia’s “Permanent Representative” to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

There is no public record of Mr Juffali attending any meetings of the IMO, nor does he possess any known qualifications in maritime law. The St Lucian government declined to say how many hours per week he spent at the Commonwealth country’s High Commission in London.

Mr Juffali’s name first appeared on the Diplomatic List in September 2014.

Countries are allowed to appoint foreign nationals as their diplomats, although the practice is unusual. The government of St Lucia did not reply to questions from The Telegraph, explaining that it “does not wish to make any official comments as it is not practice to respond to questions on foreign service appointments”.

However, a St Lucian source said that Mr Juffali was asked to represent the island because of his “well-established success as a businessman and previously undertaken diplomatic duties”.

The source said that Mr Juffali “performs all the duties expected and requested of him at the IMO”, adding: “It is also important to note that His Excellency Dr Juffali is supported in his role by staff with decades of particularly relevant experience in international relations, maritime law and diplomacy.”

The 60-year-old businessman is facing a financial claim from Christina Estrada, a former Pirelli calendar model whom he married in 2001 and divorced last year. In December 2014, Ms Estrada laid claim to a share of her former husband’s properties in Britain, which include a seven-bedroom home in a converted church in Knightsbridge.

In November 2012, Mr Juffali married Loujain Adada, a Lebanese model and TV presenter who was then 25. The couple celebrated their union with a “Grand Ball” in Venice attended by hundreds of guests.

Islamic tradition allows a man to have up to four wives, but Ms Estrada and Mr Juffali were later divorced.

Mr Juffali is a flamboyant figure who possesses two Knighthoods – one from the Vatican, where he is a member of the Papal Order of St Sylvester, and one from Queen Margarethe of Denmark, who elevated him to membership of the Order of Dannebrog.

He chairs the Juffali Group, one of Saudi Arabia’s largest conglomerates, and also holds a doctorate in neuro-science from Imperial College London.

In 2005, Mr Juffali paid £220,000 at a Christie’s charity auction for a nude photograph of Tamara Mellon, the co-founder of Jimmy Choo, the luxury shoes brand. At the same occasion, Mr Juffali paid £270,000 for a nude photograph of Kate Moss.

Just over a year after Mr Juffali was appointed to St Lucia’s mission in London, the island nation announced that it would open an Honorary Consulate in Saudi Arabia. An official statement said there would be “no cost to the Government of Saint Lucia” and named the new Honorary Consul as Halla Walid Juffali. She formally began her duties in Jeddah last Sunday.

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38 COMMENTS

  1. I'm now not certain the place you're getting your information, but great topic.
    I must spend some time finding out more or figuring out
    more. Thank you for magnificent information I used to
    be looking for this information for my mission.

    (0)(0)

  2. I feel like we are not being told anything! Why when these decisions are being made, we are not made aware if them? I am sure if we were entitle to know, there wouldn't be so many negative comments. There are intelligent people here who actually cares and wants to know what happens in OUR Country. Stop being secretive and greedy. It's okay share.

    (2)(0)

  3. I have come to despise this government because of this issue of Citizenship by Investment . Lord help us. The opposition has remained silent on this issue. Seems to me they are on the same track. I will be an absentee this election.

    (8)(5)

  4. The same ones who spare headed our sale for shipment across the Atlantic are turning around and buying back our freedom. This one hit like a boomerang . Slavery all over again.

    (4)(6)

  5. WTF... something is extremely wrong here Jufalli is the honorary consulate for st.lucia in london over 1 year now....and who is halla jufalli at the st.lucia consul in Jeddah Saudi Arabia who took up her duties last sunday? is it his wife what is happening here ?

    (9)(10)

  6. So where is Hilaire? Position of High Commissioner is vacant according to website.
    Perhaps the government could ask The Saudis to pump some money into improving law and order in SLU.

    (5)(2)

    • Hilaire is been secretly groomed by .... Also secretly campaigning for the sure seat that ... took from one of his boys to give to him. Lucia under Hilaire finish.

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  7. Boy I tell you, some people relish in the ambiance of what seems to be bad news. The majority on here know little if not anything about foreign relation, affairs, protocols and procedures but all of a sudden they are expert critics. Nothing here is out of the ordinary or ill fated, mannered or otherwise. Majority of Small States and even Advanced and developed countries use NON Nations in their diplomatic initiatives so why should Saint Lucia be Chastises. I Beg the party mongers to be careful since under the UWP's administration the same has been done.
    The issue here if you read to understand first and not to cast judgement is that the individual in question Mr. Juffali cannot be sued in the UK by his EX wife because of his diplomatic status so the writer is highlighting that fact. Has he done anything wrong, has the government done anything wrong please enlighten me?? It would be naive to thing that all government and business persons alike don't get into business that are not mutually beneficial, ask the UK and the US they are the biggest perpetrators. Transparency has always been and will always be and issue in this country but If you follow you countries foreign affairs activities like you do US Celebrity Gossip then you would be in the know of such events. There is a list of Saint Lucian diplomatic personnel in every country we have ties with. So again what really is the issue here??

    (107)(83)

  8. So right Major!. Pay close attention to who the next high commissioner is. A jJuffali henchman yes and comerade to Hilaire. Nepotism is allegdely rife in Kennys regime. Scratch my back I scratch yours . St Lucia gave an unknown total ability to wander around Europe without restrictions and full diplomatic immunity and next we are going to make his henchman high commissioner. Who is collecting....

    (10)(2)

  9. I hate to break the news to some of you who have had their heads buried in the sand for the last thirty years, but everything and everyone has a price in politics.

    (2)(0)

  10. No comment? That's rather odd of the slu government,Jadia is well known for allegedly taking Jaquot' the Parrots place in incidents like this to defend her oh so precious job....Kenny share the wealth.

    (7)(0)

  11. This whole government should be asked to resign by the opposition. They need to go those arrogant fools who believe that st lucia is 4SALE. There is even more going on under cover.

    (11)(1)

  12. The least the Government could have done , is to let we the people of ST. Lucia know of such an appointment. His values (polygamist) are contrary to ours. Why him ? Did someone get paid ? Look out people, Citizenship by Investment begins in January without our approval.

    (12)(0)

  13. WTF! By now, It should become evident to all how directionless the island has become. There is a price tag for everything. Nothing is held sacrosanct. We have strayed away from a firm foundation that our previous leaders laid down-earned by tremendous personal sacrifices. My heart really aches for home. I believe the majority of the present crop of politicians are simply worthless. Crap. There is absolutely no grand vision for home, instead we are reduced to a series of piecemeal insults like this present Saudi one. Example, we are yet to see anything bold or striking as say, another Rodney Bay. This citizenship investment is just another name for crap...an immature way of handling fiscal policy.

    (37)(10)

  14. Diplomacy for sale gros lo. St Lucia for sale gros lo. We in the diapora realise that from the time a certain high commissioner set foot in London. When a local can’t get a seat at they own independence gala because they are outprice so that tables can be sold to these high flyers we know that little Helen is been pimped. Now he is in charge of citizenship by investment more pimping of little Helen. Poor lucians won’t be able to buy a piece of the land that gave them birth. What is the cost to us? Our reputation? Why are we jumping hoops to please Juffali? Is he behind the next high commissioner? Watching and waiting

    (37)(9)

  15. Diplomacy for sale gros lo! We in the diaspora realise that from the time a certain high commissioner came here. When a local can't get a seat at they own independence gala because they have been out priced so that the tables can be sold to these high flyers we know that our little Helen has been pimped. Now he is in charge of citizen by investment poor lucians won't be able to buy a piece of the land that have them birth. What is the cost of all this to us - to our reputation ; are we sayin to the world that we are ao desperate for investors that we are easily lured and bought? Many times other persons have sort the attention of the mission with possible investors to no avail. Who is behind this Juffali connection and why are we jumping hoops to please this man. Is he behind the new high commissioner?

    (26)(7)

  16. And the Prime Minister needs to resign,

    We continue to behave like idiots.
    The government continues to make us look foolish on the international scene.

    What an embarrassment,

    (37)(8)

  17. I wonder what the Women Rights groups and feminists orgs in St. Lucia think about the appointment of their diplomatic rep? The reputation conveyed by the British Press is that he is highly found of naked pictures of women, Not barring the Press's fascination with the fact of a St. Lucian official being appointed without any qualifications for the post. Does that sound familiar?

    (28)(0)

    • And you honestly think that high ranking British officials aren’t HIGHLY found of naked pictures of women and a hell of A LOT worse… Come on!

      The naked woman’s body is a piece of exquisite art.

      His "qualifications" well, thats what the thing...

      (2)(1)

  18. Is St. Lucian Diplomacy for sale? It was Chigori now Juffali. Is Citizen by Investment another way to expedite the rape and sale of St. Lucia? I though such a scheme could only be attributable to Allen!!!!

    Then again St. Lucian leaders have a unsevered relationship and association with plantation owners and colonialism. Are we reliving our past? There has always been a resistance to such behaviour. can you guess what it is?

    (28)(8)

  19. You would think that news concerning St. Lucia would be know to St. Lucians first? Well like i said from the beginning of this governments reign in office that any news on St. Lucia could only be sourced from agencies outside St. Lucia. It began with the deliberate silencing and intimidation of the local press and specifically people like Tim. The onerous task of requiring to prove any allegation before it can be published was place on the press. However, the Government of St. Lucia made one mistake in that it could not silence the international press.

    At first instance one would question why is St. Lucia featured in such a prominent paper as the UK Telegraph, especially in such a trivial matter as the appointment of a diplomat? In fact the newspaper's most persistent question was why Juffali? Shouldn't St. Lucians be be concerned as to why the UK Telegraph is concerned and why St. Lucia's government has not been forthcoming with the facts and the reasons surrounding appoint out diplomat?

    The saga continues " You know that I know, what the Government knows, that the UK and US Governments know, what the uneducated rum drinking, rotten toothed, politial party crazed people of St. Lucia don't know.

    (34)(11)

    • The chickens are coming home to roost.. ...You are right... what it is that the UK gov't KNOW that LUCIANS EH KNOW....YET......... Big Tings!

      (7)(0)

  20. wow. So LPM was right all along in their fight against about economic citizenship? Things eh even started yet and look commess. Meysaiah nour pwee en sa.

    (26)(9)

  21. Sensational news, the man has done no wrong, choops........ He is a asset to our island hence the appointment

    (14)(38)

  22. St.Lucia is becoming a joke internationally. We need to get serious. Stop flirting with tin pot dictators. End overt corruption. Re-engage with the serious members of the international community and seek help for our broken and inept governance.

    (30)(13)

  23. Why are wr acting ao naive? Money can buy you anything. St Lucia citizenship is a discounted commodity. Brace yourselves citizenship by investment is coming...

    (25)(9)

  24. What disrepect is this... who is this man and why isn`t the government saying something ... what I really don`t get and understand is that why do this British folks disrepect you small islands like this .... it just goes to show you that you people allow yourselves to be walked all over time and time again and sit back and say nothing Utter rubbish and disrespect I say

    (10)(25)

    • What disrespect are you talking about ? and what are you talking about British folks disrespecting you small Islands ? my guess is, you did not read the telegraph article had it not been for the Telegraph the majority of saint Lucians did not know that we have a Saudi Arabian diplomat . are you aware that with diplomatic status one is exempt from Police prosecution, Airport bag search etc so Bravo to the British press for printing this story

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