How a Hong Kong Socialite Scammed Her Way into a Crazy Rich Life
By Carl Samson
December 4, 2019
The days of sipping expensive French wine in her luxurious Hong Kong abode could soon be over for a local socialite, whose alleged ways of seduction, deception, and manipulation to maintain her posh status quo have come to light.
She is, she says, Azura Luna Mangunhardjono — until she was no longer to former friends and lovers who now want answers and their money back.
Azura, known in the elite circles she had entered as a wealthy philanthropist, is currently facing a wave of accusations that conveniently paint her as one of the most skilled con artists in Hong Kong.
To one former lover, she even introduced herself, allegedly, as an Indonesian princess who received an allowance of $150,000 a month, traveling the world only through her private jet.
This lover, identified only as Jason, recalled the first time he had met Azura, whom he described as an “incredible, striking woman.”
“We exchanged phone numbers, I flew on to Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo, and over the course of the week, we texted. She was flirtatious, sending photos and saying I should come see her in Hong Kong, and I’m thinking, ‘Wow, I’ve never met anyone like this.’ So I changed my flight home and went back,” the 46-year-old told the South China Morning Post Magazine.
Little did Jason, a tech expert from New York, imagine that meeting on the 15th of October, 2017 would mark the beginning of his entrapment into a web of lies that was, allegedly, Azura’s life.
He was invited into the socialite’s 20th-floor apartment at 1 Robinson Road, in an upscale area of Mid-Levels where prices of $12,500 per square foot are reportedly common.
According to Jason, Azura told him that she was an Indonesian princess who had a jet-setting attorney for a mother and a $30 million inheritance — possibly including a yacht and an estate — from a deceased father. She allegedly claimed that her family was one of the 10 wealthiest clans in Indonesia and that her mother had actually helped Bill Clinton become president of the United States.
“She could do it with such conviction,” Jason told the Post Magazine. “She brings characters alive. It was amazing, the stories were so deep. I would think to myself, ‘this is bulls***’… but she said she wasn’t on Google because she was so rich.”
Another former lover, Robert, 59, recounted similar stories from Azura, such as that she was one of the most gifted children ever, having gone to countless boarding schools around the globe and talking about her friends from Harvard and Brown.
“Azura’s a pure professional,” Robert told the Post Magazine. “No one is better at making you comfortable. No joke.”
In late 2018 — just around the time Azura was wooing Jason — Robert met Diane, a fund partner of Azura whom she had known since 2003.
Diane met Azura through the latter’s former husband, hotelier Brad Kirk, and described her as “nicely dressed but [with] nothing special about her,” until “she saw the society of Hong Kong, she saw the amount of wealth” — and apparently fell for it.
Diane recounted negative experiences in their friendship, such as Azura failing to return a painting, selling Indonesian artwork at “friend’s prices” for charities that may not have existed and forgetting credit cards at home when it was time to pay for restaurant bills.
Eventually, another friend told her that being friends with Azura was hurting her reputation, so she decided to stop talking to her “about four years ago.”
Upon their meeting, Diane learned that Robert had wired Azura up to $150,000 for her supposedly dying father in late 2017.
Robert also transferred $30,000 to Azura for what she had described as a charitable donation, which he later learned was never given to the charity.
He also claims he gave her an American Express black card.
Soon, Diane and Robert found themselves tracking Ripoff Report, a website that allows users to complain anonymously about companies or individuals.
A report filed on the website in December 2018 described Azura as “one of the biggest scam artists in Hong Kong.” It corroborates Azura’s alleged use of her fake background to borrow money from friends — whom she had known from brushing elbows within the city’s high society — and never pays back.
There are two other Ripoff Reports on Azura’s name, filed only days after the first. The second report, posted on Dec. 22, accused Azura of selling a fake diamond ring and sleeping with the male buyer to convince him to buy it.
While they were dating, Jason himself discovered that Azura had been arrested for allegedly selling fake Hermès handbags. The buyer, an LA resident identified as Sophia, claimed that she had purchased over $86,000 of the items from Azura’s private collection, believing that the latter was raising money for one of her charities.
Azura was ultimately freed as no formal charges can be brought without Hermès’s authentication. However, on Nov. 21, Sophia wrote in a message, according to the Post Magazine: “Hermès said all fake!”
Azura, who also goes by the aliases Alexandra, Ally or Miss M, is no longer active on social media. Her Instagram account, which goes by the handle @followyourbliss007, is either deactivated or permanently deleted, while a Twitter account under her name appears to be abandoned.
Azura is also said to have a LinkedIn account, according to SCMP, where she is listed as having completed an undergraduate degree in psychology at Dartmouth, an MBA from Cambridge and pursuing an interest in aerospace engineering at MIT. She is reportedly working as a managing director of a certain “APAC Advisory Group.”
The Post Magazine, which sent out inquiries on the matter, heard from both Dartmouth and MIT that no “Azura Mangunhardjono” was registered in their records. A senior writer from Brown University — which Azura allegedly cites as another alma mater — echoed that the name does not exist in their database.
A satirical website compiling Azura’s alleged misdeeds brands her as an “experienced pro at stealing, extorting and scamming unsuspecting people.” Its “About” page lists down 11 supposed scams “coming soon.”
An anonymous review on the website Scamion.com claims that Azura is not her real name. “Her real name is Enjang Widhi Palupi, born in Kediri, East Java on October 27th 1978,” the review claimed.
Another warned the public to immediately contact local authorities as soon as they come across her. “It became apparent that Azura Mangunhardjono, a lowlife from Indonesia, managed to manipulate, scam [and] hurt not only individuals in Hong Kong, but also in London, Paris, Milan, Singapore, Jakarta, LA [and] NYC,” the review said.
At this point, it’s unclear where Azura resides, or whether she still has a roof over her head considering the magnitude of her alleged debts. In a September 2019 interview with the Post Magazine, she showed up claiming to be five months pregnant — with twins — and denied all allegations.
Feature Images via Azura Mangunhardjono
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