Saudi billionaire gains legal immunity in Britain as ‘permanent representative’ of St. Lucia

One of ’s most prominent billionaires has gained legal immunity in Britain ever since his appointment as a Caribbean diplomat representing the island nation of St. Lucia.

appears on the London Diplomatic List as St. Lucia’s “Permanent Representative” to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

There is no public record of Juffali attending any meetings of the IMO, nor does he possess any known qualifications in maritime law. The St. Lucian government declined to say how many hours per week he spent at the country’s High Commission in London.

Juffali’s name first appeared on the Diplomatic List in September 2014.

Countries are allowed to appoint foreign nationals as their diplomats, although the practice is unusual. The government of St Lucia did not respond to questions from The Daily Telegraph, explaining that it “does not wish to make any official comments.”

However, a St. Lucian source said Juffali was asked to represent the island because of his “well-established success as a businessman and previously undertaken diplomatic duties.”

The source said that Juffali “performs all the duties expected and requested of him at the IMO”, adding: “It is also important to note that His Excellency Dr Juffali is supported in his role by staff with decades of particularly relevant experience in international relations, maritime law and diplomacy.”

Countries are allowed to appoint foreign nationals as their diplomats, although the practice is unusual

The 60-year-old businessman is facing a financial claim from Christina Estrada, a former Pirelli calendar model whom he married in 2001 and divorced last year. In December 2014, Ms Estrada laid claim to a share of her former husband’s properties in Britain, which include a seven-bedroom home in a converted church in Knightsbridge.

In November 2012, Juffali had married Loujain Adada, a Lebanese model and TV presenter who was then 25. The couple celebrated their union with a “Grand Ball” in Venice.

Juffali chairs the Juffali Group, one of Saudi Arabia’s largest conglomerates, and also holds a doctorate in neuroscience from Imperial College London. Just over a year after he was appointed to St. Lucia’s mission in London, the island nation announced that it would open an Honorary Consulate in Saudi Arabia.

Juffali declined to answer questions from The Daily Telegraph. He did not say if he was related to St. Lucia’s Honorary Consul in Saudi Arabia.

About David Blair, The Telegraph