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The New Arab

Lebanese react to allegations Saad Hariri paid model $16 million

PM Hariri managed to find $16m for Candice but hasn't paid employees in years [Facebook/Getty]

Date of publication: 1 October, 2019

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'Because paying your hard working employees is overrated': Lebanese people are understandably furious that PM Hariri found $16 million for his model girlfriend but hasn't paid his workers in years.
Shocked and angry Lebanese people have taken to social media to vent their frustrations over allegations Prime Minister Saad Hariri transferred more than $16 million a South African model he met at an exclusive resort in the Seychelles in 2013.

In South African court documents obtained by The New York Times, Hariri bank transfers to the model Candice van der Merwe between his two terms as prime minister in 2013.

In an email to Hariri giving her bank account details, Van der Merwe, then 20 years old wrote "Love you my Saad :)", using the millions to buy expensive property in Cape Town.

The allegations have been especially infuriating as Lebanon faces economic crisis, alongside austerity measures and rocketing public debt.

Hariri, a telecoms and construction tycoon whose businesses include The Daily Star and Future TV, has reportedly not paid his employees in months, even years.

People were quick to point out the glaring inconsistencies in Hariri's spending.
Many made light of the infuriating state of Lebanese politics.

"When Siniora [the former finance minister] finds out Hariri spent $16m on a woman"

A possible symptom of the deep-rooted corruption, Hariri still has a dedicated fan base.

 Others were less forgiving.

Or maybe it was all a distraction technique for Lebanon's ongoing political turmoil?

However the remaining question for many was, why not a Lebanese woman?

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