Liliane Bettencourt who is best known as the L’Oréal heiress ranks high amongst the billionaires of the world with a net worth of $23.5 billion. She is a businesswoman, socialite and a philanthropist. She has been in the news recently for selling her private D’Arros Island in the Seychelles to an offshore company affiliated with Swiss-based Save Our Seas Foundation. The deal is reported to be worth$60 million plus $10.5 million for stamp duty and other taxes. The island has been taken over with the intention of turning the land into a nature reserve. Mrs. Bettencourt has been under investigation by the French Tax authorities who have ordered her to pay $133 million in taxes for undeclared accounts in Switzerland, Singapore and ownership of D’Arros Island.
She Had Bought the Island in 1997 for $18 Million
She had been at the center of a corruption investigation involving former French President Nicholas Sarkozy and that’s how her other assets came to light. The 89 year old heiress is the most talked about billionaire socialite in France. She had bought the D’Arros Island along with its several neighboring islets for a reported $18 million in year 1997. These islands are part of the Island nation Seychelles that spans across an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean off the east-coast of Africa. Her ownership of the island wasn’t highlighted but came into the open in 2010 through media reports when the tax authorities were investigating her assets.
D’Arros is a Small Oval Shaped Island
D’Arros Island is a small oval shaped island measuring 2km in length and just under 1km in width. It is located south west of the country’s main island Mahe. It is made up mainly of flat coral sand cay. It is covered with coconut vegetation but boasts of an unpaved airstrip. Mrs. Bettencourt had bought it from prince Shahram Pahlavi Nia of Iran. The news about her selling the island came to light through the press conference hosted by the Seychelles government. The press meet was organized mainly to discuss and announce the future of the island. Mrs. Bettencourt has agreed to pay $8 million as she had failed to involve the government of Seychelles in the sale of the island.