London(PTI): A Saudi princess’s attempt to flee a five-star hotel in Paris and dodge a five million pound bill was foiled with her large entourage of servants and luggage being just a bit too noticeable.
A picture taken on December 9, 2010 in Paris, shows a groom opening the entrance door of the luxury Shangri-La Hotel, listed Historic Building in 2009. A Saudi princess was caught trying to leave the Shangri-La hotel in Paris without settling a six million euro ($7.4 million) bill for her rooms, police said on June 2, 2012, confirming a report in the daily Le Parisien. AFPPrincess Maha Al-Sudairi, the wayward ex-wife of Saudi Crown Prince and deputy prime minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, who is second-in-line to the Saudi throne, tried to to dodge paying a hotel bill of 5 million pounds by escaping at night from the Shangri-La hotel.
She and her retinue of 60 servants in tow with a mountain of suitcases, were instantly spotted by the hotel staff when filing out at 3.30am (local time) last Friday.
They called the police and she was stopped as her extensive luggage was being bundled into a fleet of limousines, the Daily Mail reported.
Most offenders in her position would have been arrested on the spot, charged and perhaps would already be behind bars.
But because the princess is protected by diplomatic immunity, police were unable to arrest or even charge her with an offence.
Instead the French authorities can only approach the Saudi Embassy in a bid to get them to help.
In the meantime the princess and her ‘small army of servants’ have been offered refuge from their troubles at another luxury hotel, the Royal Monceau, near the Champs-Elysees.
The five-star hotel is owned by “family friend”, the Emir of Qatar, who has offered to put her up while the matter is resolved.
The princess arrived in Paris with her entourage on December 23 last year and booked out an entire 41-room floor of the Shangri-La.
Up until then she had been confined to a palace in the middle eastern state by Saudi King Abdullah after leaving behind a trail of unpaid bills with luxury firms across Europe, reportedly including Dior, jewellery outlets Chaumet and Victoria Casal, and at least one hotel.
Her global over-spending has been well-documented in the past.