Has "several formal and legal evidences" to say he still owns diamond.
Sylla Moussa, the rough diamond trader claiming logistics and storage company Malca-Amit has lost a 50.66ct pink diamond under his ownership, has responded to Malca-Amit’s statement as published by Professional Jeweller on April 8 2014.
Moussa strongly denies the suggestion made by Malca-Amit in its statement that he has been charged with defrauding a South African bank of tens of millions of rand, multiple counts of fraud, theft and money laundering. In response, Moussa has filed a criminal complaint for defamation against to the General Prosecutor of Geneva, together with "confirmation by the South African Police Service stating officially that no conviction has been recorded for any crime in the Republic of South Africa against me".
Moussa also states that he is "in possession of the South Africa Police clearance certificate".
According to Moussa, he deposited the 50.66ct diamond and signed a storage contract dated August 16, 2007 as the sole legal owner of the diamond.
He says he is still in possession of the original deposit contract with Malca-Amit and never authorised Malca-Amit to release the diamond to any one person or a third party, in particular Zunaidi Moti (Moti Abbas), the man who is understood to have taken possession of the stone from Moussa after he defaulted on a loan payment to Abbas.
Moussa states that he warned Malca-Amit not to release the diamond to Moti Abbas, however Malca-Amit asserts that Moussa was present when the stone was handed over to Abbas, alongside witnesses.
The statement from Moussa also outlines that he has in his possession confirmation from Malca-Amit dated 2013, in which it is detailed the firm is holding the 50.66ct diamond in storage on behalf of Moussa, something he is backing up with "several formal and legal evidences which are in the hands of the relevant Swiss authorities".
Moussa also states that Malca-Amit regional manager for Europe Aaron Hochberg resigned one month ago, alongside its director Emmanuel-Philippe Madieu whom he states was "dealing directly with our deposit through the alleged fraudulent transfer and theft of my diamond, all in which is fully documented".
Malca-Amit today released a statement to Professional Jeweller in relation to Moussa’s statement. It reads:
"Malca-Amit was never involved in illegal dealings with respect to the diamond in question. Sylla Moussa arrived at Malca-Amit’s Geneva office on April 29, 2008. On this date, he took delivery of the diamond, signing for its receipt, and then personally handed the diamond to Moti Abbas. The receipt and other supporting legal and formal evidence is now with the Swiss authorities."
Sylla Moussa’s full statement
"In reference to the March 31st 2014 issued by Malca-Amit (Switzerland) SA on the theft of my 50.66 ct pink diamond, I Sylla Moussa, am issuing this present press release in order to reply to the news briefing.
I strongly deny the defamatory allegations of Malca-Amit (Switzerland) SA and in particular the calumnious allegations of Mr. Francisco Mauro Bautista.
A criminal complaint for defamation (art. 173 of the Swiss Criminal Code) is submitted today with the General Prosecutor of Geneva together with an official confirmation by the South African Police Service stating officially that no conviction has been recorded for any crime in the Republic of South Africa against me. In fact, I am in possession of the SA Police clearance certificate.
As this defamatory and calumny matter we have dealt with, let’s focus on the real subject!
1. I have deposited my diamond and signed a storage contract dated August 16 2007 as the sole legal owner of the said diamond.
2. I am still in possession of the original deposit contract with Malca-Amit.
3. I have never signed for a release and never authorized Malca-Amit to release my diamond to anyone or any third party. Especially to said Zunaidi Moti (Abbas Moti) in which Malca-Amit (Switzerland) SA was clearly warned not to release my diamond to Zunaid Moti (Abbas Moti) .
4. I have in my possession, confirmation from Malca-Amit notably in 2013 that they are holding my 50.66 ct diamond in their storage on my behalf plus several formal and legal evidences which are in the hands of the relevant Swiss authorities.
5. We state that it is in the public domain that the Regional Manager Europe, Israel Logistics and Supply Chain of Malca-Amit Hochberg Aharon (Aaron) has resigned one month ago together with the main Director Madieu Emmanuel-Philippe who was dealing directly with our deposit through the alleged fraudulent transfer and theft of my diamond, all in which is fully documented."