An Indonesian tycoon has failed to unfreeze $93 million of his assets pending the outcome of a divorce suit.
Mr Nurdian Cuaca, 44, and Madam Jamie Chua Xin Yin, 36, a Singaporean, had been married for over 15 years, before filing for divorce in February last year over ‘unreasonable behaviour’. They have two children.
Some details of Mr Cuaca’s assets were revealed in court:
1) He received some $12.5m income through moneychangers around late April 2010
2) A Lamborghini
3) A Porsche Cayenne
4) 70 per cent beneficial interest in a private company, D’League Pte Ltd
5) Freight businesses in Indonesia
6) A wine collection
Mr Cuaca’s assets include two houses in Sentosa Cove and in Hong Kong worth $14.6 million, $79.2 million in shares in a private company, his wine collection and his three cars - a Lamborghini, a Porsche and a Ferrari.
Madam Chua was a former flight stewardess and is currently the managing director of the Manolo Blahnik Singapore shoe boutique.
She is also frequently spotted at high society events in Singapore.
Madam Chua is seeking $450,000 in monthly maintenance from Mr Cuaca.
Her lawyers had applied for an asset freeze and interim maintenance order because Mr Cuaca had reduced her monthly maintenance amount and cancelled her supplementary card.
In explaining the decision to freeze Mr Cuaca’s assets, the judge said the latter was found to have transferred $3.2 million from a bank here to Indonesia.
Mr Cuaca had claimed this was monies that belonged to his sister, a Miss Risna.
However, the judge wrote that there was strong evidence that the removal of the amount was to shrink the matrimonial assets that would be divided by the courts.
Given the circumstances, the judge said the withdrawal of that $3.2million “was not legitimate and was not justified.”
In addition, he had also attempted on two occasions to dispose of his wine collection in their matrimonial home, and shut down the couple’s shoe business, Cloud 9 Lifestyle, which owns Madam Chua’s Manolo Blahnik shoe boutique, by terminating interbank loans from the parent company, D’League Pte Ltd to Cloud 9.
He had also tried to dispose of the family cars.
Mr Cuaca has appealed against the decision, which will be heard in the High Court in February.
A pre-trial conference on the divorce suit will be held in the Family Court tomorrow.
This could be one of the highest profile divorce in 2011. Jamie Cuaca is one of the better known socialite in Singapore although very little is known about her husband, Nurdian Cuaca. Even the court can’t say for sure how Mr. Cuaca get his income in order to pay for his living expenses and legal fees after his Singapore assets were frozen by the court.
In the blogosphere, bloggers commented about the amount of interim maintenance Madam Chua requested in the divorce proceeding ($450,000 per month), which is more than 9 times average Singaporean’s annual income. Some questioned why the husband is required to pay so much when the wife, arguably, is an independent business woman. In my opinion, it is very likely that Madam Chua would be able to get that amount (or close to that amount) or a substantial lump sum payment considering the following:
1. Although Madam Chua is the managing director of the Manolo Blahnik’s store, it seems that this business depends on continuous credit line from her husband’s company. I am not sure how popular Manolo Blahniks in Singapore, but it does not seem that the business is making a lot of money
2. The court document mentioned that claim of $450,000 as interim monthly maintenance was supported by actual historical payments as evidenced by documentary records (mainly from affidavits filled by Madam Chua and her accountant’s report). Although there is no detail of the report, it seems that the amount is pretty reasonable considering that she lived in Singapore with her two children and overall family’s lifestyle. The court mentioned that Mr. Cuaca’s ordinary living expenses excluding gambling expenses were $140,000 per month. If it included his gambling expenses, the figure would be about $303,000 per month
3. Well, she had been married with him for 15 years. Imagine 15 years of tai-tai’s lifestyle and the horror of potential downgrading because of the divorce. I think even the court can sympathize with Madam Chua on this regard.
There is another twist in this case: on 13 January 2011, Straits Times also reported that the husband, Nurdian Cuaca, was in the interpol list because of some fraud allegations made in Indonesia. Mr. Cuaca has denied any knowledge about these allegations.
Even with the divorce she is still richer than most Singaporeans.
When one got the chance to be rich and able, you can use your resources and abilities for good or for evil. You can make the world more beautiful and better place or make it more miserable and decadent. Compared to that Sun Ho, Jaime appeared acceptable.