The most expensive three bedroom flat in history has been sold for almost £200m or over $314 Million- despite a dark history involving a murder in its main reception room.
Reclusive British property developers Christian and Nick Candy are thought to have made a profit of at least £190m from La Belle Epoque penthouse in Monaco, on the French Riviera.
They bought the 17,500 sq ft flat from Englishwoman Lily Safra in the early 2000s, soon after her banker husband Edmond infamously died in a mysterious fire inside the property.
The property has now been snapped up on a 97 year lease at an asking price of €240 million (£199m) by an unnamed Middle Eastern investor, thought to be an Arab sheik.
Early theories back in 1999 were that Mr Safra had been killed by Russians in retaliation for supporting an FBI clampdown on money laundering in the Mediterranean principality.
But then Ted Maher, a former American Green Beret medical auxiliary who was caring for the ageing Mr Safra, suddenly confessed to starting the fire, which also killed another nurse.
Despite a double murder charge, Maher spent just five years in prison – increasing speculation that he was a ‘patsy’ set up to take responsibility for the crime by powerful interests who were really responsible.
Whatever the truth, it enabled Christian Candy, 36, and his brother Nick, 37, to make a fortune out of the then blighted flat.
Mrs Safra, who inherited her husband’s £3bn fortune thanks to him cutting his two brothers out of his will two months before his death, was happy to offload it for less than £10m.
In an interview last year Christian Candy admitted he had spent some £26m doing the flat up, turning it into one of the most desirable properties in the world.
There is a leisure room complete with billiard tables and arcade video games, Jacuzzi and spa, and even a media room which includes executive chairs which convert into beds in case of over-work.
Other James Bond touches include old master paintings and cinema screens which emerge from walls at the touch of a button, and numerous walk-in wardrobes and dressing rooms.
Security is also state-of-the art, with a panic room, reinforced glass, and surveillance cameras everywhere.
The Candys, who were brought up in Surrey and started their career borrowing £6000 to do up their grandmother’s house in Earl’s Court, are believed to now be living between another of their Monaco flats and Candyscape II, their multi-million pound yacht.
The area where they live is one of the most expensive in France. In 2008, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov was poised to spend more than £450m buying the nearby Villa Leopolda.