While there has been a great deal of laughter from politicians and commentators, the excuse that former and prospective Federal law-makers claimed they thought their $250,000 gifted Rolex watches were “fakes” is no joke.
The short version of events is that, in June 2013 as then opposition leader Tony Abbott used every possible misdemeanour to topple the Gillard Government, he, along with Industry Spokesman and former Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane and Stuart Robert, were given watches by Chinese businessman Li Ruipeng, and an event in Canberra. They were also given watches for Margaret Abbott and Chantelle Robert, with then Queensland minister Rob Molhoek receiving a Cartier watch.
According to reports “Macfarlane, assuming his Rolex was a fake worth between $300 and $500, declared the gift with the clerk of the House of Representatives but kept it” and “wore it occasionally”.
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