$2.3m For Suleman's Harbour Toy
Sunday May 19, 2002
THE pleasure cruiser which businessman Karl Suleman used to show former President Bill Clinton around Sydney was sold yesterday for $2.3 million.
The sale was the latest auction of high-flying Mr Suleman's pile of rich man's toys.
He has already parted with a Lamborghini, four Ferraris, several BMWs, a couple of Mercedes and four houses since his Froggy investment venture collapsed six months ago owing investors $65 million.
Mr Suleman is wrestling with liquidators who are trying to trace the millions he collected from hundreds of members of the Sydney Assyrian community, promising enormous returns.
Mr Suleman attracted attention when he splashed big money around and made a show of hosting visiting VIPs such as Mr Clinton, who autographed the cruiser, named King, on a pillar in the galley saying: ``Karl, thanks for a great day...8 Sept 2001."
Mr Suleman paid $3.3 million for the boat one year ago. A Brisbane property developer, who did not want his name known, secured the craft for a $1 million discount, making the top bid after just 30 seconds of auction action at Cockle Bay.
Auctioneer Pat Slattery said the bid fell a bit short of the reserve but he was confident an arrangement could be reached early this week.
Paul Weston, liquidator of Mr Suleman's collapsed Froggy outfit, said the boat was among the last of Mr Suleman's trappings.
Still for sale are two jets he used to ferry Mr Clinton around Australia.
Mr Weston will release a 32-page report tomorrow on the state of the search for the $65 million.
``We are still trying to track down at least $10 million that has gone overseas with two fugitives we are trying to trace," Mr Weston said.
Interpol is about to join the search for Mr Suleman's associates Jessie George, who is believed to be in the US, and Eman Oshana, who was last known to be in Dubai where he has relatives.
Karl Suleman was in court on Friday admitting handing Mr George at least $3 million in cash.
After selling the luxury toys and tracing some of the lost $65 million, Mr Weston believes creditors may get back more than five cents in the dollar.
Mr Suleman persuaded hundreds of investors to put money into his schemes. He then used the new money to pay big dividends to earlier investors, making it appear they were earning interest.
A HIGH-FLYER'S PLEASURE BOAT
* The 20.9-metre Princess .65 Flybridge Cruiser name "king" has clocked up just 210 hours.
* It has an air-conditioned master stateroom with a huge double bed, dressing table, wardrobe and luxury en suite bathroom.
* A concealed TV/VCR in the ceiling is revealed at the flick of a switch along with surround-sound hi-fi.
* It has a second guest bedroom with its own bathroom and twin-berth cabin.
* The lounge has leather and cherrywood upholstery with latest Bose audio video system.
* Little luxuries include air conditioning throughout, gold plated cutlery, a well-stocked cocktail bar, ice machine, dishwasher and its own barbecue.
* The 29-tonne ocean-going cruiser has a top speed of 34 knots.