Sulu sultanate heirs reportedly seize Petronas assets worth US$2 billion

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The heirs of the purported Sulu sultanate, who are claiming US$14.92 billion (RM62.59 billion) from Malaysia – have seized two Luxembourg-incorporated subsidiaries of Malaysian oil giant Petronas.

According to a report by London-based Financial Times, lawyers of the claimants have seized Petronas Azerbaijan (Shah Deniz) and Petronas South Caucasus, reportedly worth US$2 billion.

The lawyers said bailiffs in Luxembourg seized the holding companies on behalf of their clients on Monday.

Descendants of the last Sulu sultan, Sultan Jamalul Kiram II, are claiming the astronomical sum from Malaysia following an arbitration process.

The arbitration process was initiated in response to Malaysia cutting off the annual lease payments of RM5,300 to the Sulu sultanate in 2013.

Malaysia did not participate in the arbitration process in France, arguing that the dispute between Malaysia and the claimants was not a commercial contract and thus not subject to arbitration.

Lawyers for the claimants have argued that since Malaysia is a signatory of the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York Convention), hence their clients have a right to seize Malaysian assets in 167 signatory countries should the claimed sum not be paid. – Malaysiakini