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London (AFP) — The sultan of Brunei denied on Tuesday media reports that he was mulling the purchase of three landmark hotels including New York’s Plaza.

The reports had sparked a protest by the U.S. gay lobby group, Human Rights Campaign, as Brunei plans to implement tough punishments for same-sex acts.

“Neither His Majesty, the Brunei Investment Agency, nor the government of Brunei are involved in any way in the purchase of the Grosvenor House in London or the Plaza and Dream Downtown hotels in New York,” said a spokesman for the sultan on Tuesday.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, had reported on Monday that the sultan had offered about $2.0 billion to buy the three plush hotels.

AFP Photo

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