Can’t say we’re even remotely surprised by this, but that $4.8 billion yacht that was supposedly purchased by a super-wealthy Malaysian businessman has turned out to be a hoax.
Italian boatmaker Baia Yachts did some digging on their own and completely debunked the tale of the golden superyacht, which designer Stuart Hughes had claimed contained 100,000 kilograms of precious metals and the bones of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, according to Motor Boat News (via Born Rich).
It turns out that Stuart Hughes took some photos from Baia’s website (we couldn’t find the exact images but a lot of these look pretty similar) and tried to pass them off as its own, MBN wrote.
It’s not like we were born yesterday, and the story seemed a little off from the minute we first read it. (Why would a billionaire drop a third of his money on a boat? And where can one pick up T-Rex bones?)
But we ran with it after contacting Stuart Hughes, who assured us the price was real.
We first emailed the company to see if we could get some high-res images of the decked-out craft, and a company representative named Toni sent over a zip file with pictures minutes later.
We then responded to confirm the astronomical, $4.8 billion price tag that was being tossed around.
Our email said:
Is the 3 billion pound figure reported by The Daily Mail accurate?
This is the response we got 10 minutes later:
Yes it is
Things still seemed pretty fishy, especially after we discovered that only three Malaysians have a net worth over $5 billion, and that the richest man in Malaysia, Robert Kuok, was an astute businessman worth $12.5 billion who had actually knocked down his Hong Kong mansion to avoid a showy display of wealth.
So we emailed Toni again asking for some additional details on the boat and the sale, and to confirm that Kuok was indeed the buyer.
After all those quick responses, it was suddenly radio silence on Toni’s end.
We sent a follow-up email and left voicemails on both the phone and mobile numbers listed on Stuart Hughes’ contact page.
Finally, hours later, we got this response from the designer:
Im sorry , I cant say anything
So in the end, we owe a big apology to Mr. Kuok, for even thinking he’d drop billions of dollars on such a silly extravagance. And we can assume the $8 million iPad and $8 million Rolls Royce Phantom are probably just pipe dreams as well.
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