Osu gambled RM63.1m at Ritz - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

Kota Kinabalu: The seriousness of former Chief Minister Datuk Seri Haji Osu Sukams gambling addiction is only now becoming clear.

Daily Express is able to reveal for the first time that he blew a total of £9.027 million (RM63.19 million) in Londons Ritz Hotel Casino over a period of five months in 2002, alone.

This evidence is contained in his "casino traffic card" which records the date of the customers transactions at the cash desk and Members Daily Transaction summary. It showed that he frequented the club on an almost daily basis throughout February 2002.

The records also showed that during Osus second outing beginning April to September at the casino that year, he gambled £8.60m (RM60.62m) and won only once £26,000 (RM182,000).

The casino tried to recover RM7.1m from Osu by registering the judgement it obtained in a London Court, but this was dismissed by Kota Kinabalu High Court judge Datuk Justice Ian Chin who cited grounds of public policy and that Osu had been allowed to gamble on credit.

However, indications are that Osu had not gambled on credit but was provided a cheque-cashing facility by the casino. He got into trouble only when the cheque he had issued to the casino on Sept. 9, 2002 for RM7.1m (£1.5m) bounced.

Casino players must settle their debts in cash but exemptions are made for members and those introduced by members who must be premium clients. In terms of repayments, he settled the casino staggered payments of £60,000 (RM420,000), £400,000 (RM2.8M), £2,000 (RM14,000) and £100,000 (RM700,000). In all he paid the casino an amount of £562,000 (RM3.9M) in 2002.

Notices were then sent to Osu to appear in London for the case but he failed to show up. The case continued as ex-parte and the London High Court found in favour of the casino on Nov. 4, 2003.

Following that decision, an application was made to register this decision in the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak on Sept. 13, 2004.

The evidence showed that Osu returned to the casino on April 2002, gambling almost on daily basis for the last week of the month. It was noted that on April 26, he gambled £1.2m (RM8.4m) and lost £596,400 (RM4.17m).

The following day, Osu gambled a further £1.1 million (RM7.7m) and lost £1.089m (RM7.623m).

In May 2002, Osu visited the casino on nine occasions from May 11 to 21.

On May 11, he gambled £1.5m (RM10.5m) and lost £1.499m (RM10.493m).

On May 17, he finally won £26,000 (RM182,000), but only after having gambled £900,000 (RM6.3m).

He visited the Ritz again during the period of Malaysias independence celebrations on Aug. 31 and gambled on a daily basis from Sept. 1 to 16.

On Sept 7, he gambled £1.9m (RM13.3m) losing £1.161m (RM8.127m) and two days later Osu lost the biggest amount totalling £4.683m (RM32.78m) with gambling money of £2.06m (RM14.42m).

The casino also noted the large sums of which Osu was gambling and the frequency of transactions prior to September 2002.

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