SYDNEY – Australia’s former prime minister and two other politicians were gifted designer watches by a Chinese businessman — but initially kept them only because they thought the 40,000 Australian dollar ($28,000) timepieces were fake.
The Herald Sun newspaper reported Wednesday that former Prime Minister Tony Abbott and fellow Liberal party lawmakers Stuart Robert and Ian Macfarlane received the watches in 2013 when their party was in opposition. Macfarlane told the paper that a representative of China’s Li Guancheng Investment Group gave them the watches in a plastic bag during an informal dinner.
Macfarlane said they believed the watches were fake. Then last year a fellow lawmaker with a real Rolex pointed out the watch Macfarlane wore looked genuine. After realizing it was, Macfarlane said he, Abbott and Robert returned the watches.