More of Wawan's assets seized as trial nears
The Jakarta Post
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) said on Sunday that its investigators had confiscated 17 plots of land worth billions of rupiah, allegedly bought using dirty money, from businessman Tubagus Chaeri 'Wawan' Wardana, the younger brother of former Banten governor Ratu Atut Chosiyah.
KPK spokesman Priharsa Nugraha said that the confiscated assets were located in various locations in Bali province, adding that the move was undertaken after a number of witnesses questioned by the KPK stated that the assets were part of money laundering activities carried out by the businessman.
'Among the plots are as many as 8,390 square meters located in Ubud village; 1,250 square meters in Kerobokan Kelod subdistrict; 4,500 square meters in Ubud village; 594 square meters in Sayan village; around 1,800 square meters in Kerobokan Kelod subdistrict; 8,390 square meters in Ubud village and 4,500 square meters in Ubud village,' Priharsa said, adding that the KPK also seized a villa built on the 1,800 meter-square plot in Kerobokan.
Priharsa said that KPK investigators were currently speeding up their investigation into Wawan's money laundering to prepare for his upcoming trial.
The recent confiscation added to a long list of dirty assets that KPK investigators have seized from the husband of South Tangerang Mayor Airin Rachmi Diany.
Earlier, KPK investigators confiscated around 85 cars, varying from luxury brands including Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentley and Rolls Royce, to trucks, from a number of people including Wawan's family members, confidants, female celebrities and local councilors in Banten, as well as one Harley Davidson motorbike.
In addition to a number of female celebrities who allegedly received cars from Wawan, including model Catherine Wilson, model and singer Rebecca Reijman and soap-opera actress Jennifer Dunn, the KPK has also grilled male celebrity Irwansyah following reports that he and Wawan ran a joint production house, allegedly partly funded with Wawan's dirty money, in Jakarta.
The KPK has accused Wawan of laundering hundreds billions of rupiah that he embezzled through a number of procurement projects, including two medical health facilities, at Atut and Airin's offices.
Commenting on the KPK's recent move, Wawan's lawyer Maqdir Ismail lambasted the KPK for failing to notify him of details about its accusations regarding each plot of confiscated land.
'Before doing so it must be clear in the first place whether the confiscated assets are related to money laundering activities or not. If it is related then the KPK should explain to us about in which case the assets were bought. If it is not related then the KPK cannot carry out any confiscations at all,' Maqdir said.
Charges against Wawan arose in Oct. 2013 after KPK investigators found that he and Atut were the masterminds behind a bribery scheme to pay off former Constitutional Court chief justice Akil Mochtar, who was arrested red-handed accepting money from Wawan's confidants.
The three have been sentenced in the bribery case with Akil receiving life behind bars, while Atut and Wawan were given four and five years in prison, respectively, by the Jakarta Corruption Court.
The Jakarta High Court later upheld the sentences of the three convicts, while recently the Supreme Court ruled that Akil deserved a life sentence for his offenses and increased Atut and Wawan's prison terms to seven years.
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