Angry Customs Officers Leaked Info on Rosmah's Diamond Ring_ Former MACC Chief _ New Straits Times

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Angry Customs Officers
   Angry Customs officers leaked info on Rosmah'sdiamond ring: Former MACC chief | New StraitsTimes  By NST Online KUALA LUMPUR: The controversy surrounding the RM24 million diamond ring allegedly purchased by Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor in 2011 started after disgruntled CustomsDepartment officers intentionally leaked information about the ring.Former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri AbuKassim Mohamed claimed that the officers had leaked information about the diamond ring being brought into Malaysia but chose to not say that it was later taken out of the country.He said they had done so out of revenge as Datuk Seri Najib Razak had refused to interveneand stop the MACC from acting against a group of corrupt Customs officers. Abu Kassim had purportedly said this in a speech, which has now made its way on video-sharing site YouTube.In the video, Abu Kassim can be heard telling his audience – believed to be MACC officers,that an unhappy Customs union had met him and requested that the MACC stop itsinvestigations against corrupt customs officers then.He said when he refused to entertain their request, the union tried to meet Najib but the(then) prime minister refused to meet them.“They later leaked the information about the ring to retaliate against Najib,” he said. Abu Kassim said MACC was first alerted about the ring when a report was lodged in Penang,and an investigation was immediately started.However, he said the graft busters found no elements of corruption at that time as the ringhad already been returned to the jeweller. Abu Kassim said the issue was later blown open when Customs officers leaked a documentknown as ‘Borang Kastam 1’ which showed the item entering the country.However, he said they withheld another form – ‘Borang Kastam 2’ – which showed the ringhad also left the country.“We found that there were two forms. But only Borang Kastam 1 was leaked. The intention was to exact revenge on the prime minister for allowing MACC to take stern action againstthe customs department,” he said.In his speech, Abu Kassim can also be heard saying that it was not unusual for a jeweller toship such expensive items for a prospective client to view.“It is not like you are buying a RM24 or RM2,400 piece of jewellery. If you want that, youhave to go to Poh Kong or Habib.“In this case the ring was worth RM24million...Habib will come to you as there are only about 100 people in this world who can afford such a ring,” he said, referring to two famouslocal jewellers. Abu Kassim said during the course of MACC investigations, he called Najib in London and 1  asked if he had purchased the ring.However, he said Najib denied it and said the jewellers had sent the ring for viewingpurposes only.Meanwhile, Malaysiakini reported that a former government official who attended thefunction where Abu Kassim spoke, confirmed that the video was authentic and that thespeech was made to MACC officers.“It was true what he said. That was what the IO (investigating officer) found,” the newsportalquoted a source as saying.It said the speech was made long before investigations on the 1MDB affair began.“At the time, there was no corruption case involving the diamond as it had already beenreturned to the jeweller.“When he (Abu Kassim) knew the truth about 1MDB after being shown by US DepartmentDepartment of Justice and FBI evidence in (the) 1MDB case, he wanted to pursue the case.But at that time, the situation was not conducive and that was why he asked for early retirement in 2016,” the newsportal quoted the source as saying. Abu Kassim’s speech has corroborated Rosmah’s denial of buying the ring all this while.She had always maintained that the US jeweller had sent her the ring for viewing only.She has, all this while too, claimed that criticisms, such as the ones laid by PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli, were based on “half-truths”.It is understood that the said US jeweller, Jacob & Co, had also said that the 30.11-caratnatural fancy blue grade cushion diamond ring was in fact for the viewing of MairaNazarbayev, the mother of Daniyar Nazarbayev, who was engaged to Rosmah’s daughterNooryana Najwan at the time.The couple wed in 2014.In her biography launched in 2013, Rosmah denied claims that she had purchased the RM24million diamond ring from jeweller Jacob & Co.She said the ring was brought to Kuala Lumpur on April 16, 2011, for a private viewing by herson-in-law’s mother during preparations for Nooryana’s engagement to Daniyar in 2011.The ring was later returned to Jacob & Co’s headquarters in New York on May 13, 2012, shesaid.Continue Reading 2
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