New York: South African authorities say they are now in possession of supermodel Naomi Campbell’s so-called ‘blood diamonds’.
According to the Daily Mail, The Hawks, South Africa’s elite police investigation unit, seized the diamonds from the home of Jeremy Ractliffe, the onetime director of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, and has launched a criminal investigation against him.
Campbell, while testifying at the war crimes trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor, said that she gave the pouch of ‘dirty-looking stones’ to Ractliffe and asked him to do something charitable with them, reports the New York Post.
However, Ractliffe, who is still a trustee of the children’s charity, said in an e-mail statement that he had "turned the diamonds over to South African authorities" and is "willing to testify before the war-crimes court," making no mention of a criminal probe.
The statement went on to say that he told Campbell that he would "not involve the children’s charity in anything that could possibly be illegal," which is why he decided to keep the diamonds, and tell no one, in an attempt to "protect the reputation of the NMCF, Mr. Mandela himself and Naomi Campbell, none of whom were benefiting in any way."