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Jakarta Post

Police charge fugitive Maria Lumowa with corruption, money laundering

  • Ghina Ghaliya
    Ghina Ghaliya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, July 10, 2020   /   07:55 pm
Police charge fugitive Maria Lumowa with corruption, money laundering Loan fraud suspect Maria Pauline Lumowa (center, in orange shirt) arrives at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on July 9, 2020 under the escort of National Police personnel and the Law and Human Rights Ministry's extradition team. The Republic of Serbia granted Indonesia's extradition for the fugitive, who has been wanted for 17 years for allegedly stealing billions of rupiah from Bank Negara Indonesia in a 2003 loan fraud case. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

The National Police have brought multiple charges relating to corruption and money laundering against captured fugitive Maria Pauline Lumowa, who has been wanted for 17 years as a suspect in a major fraud case.

The National Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) chief Comr. Gen. Listyo Sigit Prabowo said Maria had been charged under the 2001 Corruption Law and the 2003 Money Laundering Law.

“We will make separate police reports for both charges,” Listyo said in a broadcast press conference on Friday.

The money laundering charge was used to track down Maria’s assets as well as other parties that might be involved in the loan scam, he said, adding that investigators would question her and 11 witnesses to dig deeper into the case.

Read also: Maria’s extradition ‘cover up’ for failure to arrest other fugitives, experts say

He explained that the National Police had so far confiscated and tracked down assets in the form of her unmovable and movable property as well as money and goods that had been confiscated and auctioned off, valued at a total of Rp 132 billion (US$9.14 million)

“We will further trace her assets and also other parties that might be involved in the case,” Listyo said.

Listyo added that Maria, who obtained Dutch citizenship in 1979 and was hiding in the Netherlands, had asked for an attorney and the police had requested the Dutch embassy to provide legal assistance for her.

Maria fled Indonesia just before she was named a suspect of a fraudulent loan scam by the National Police in 2003. She allegedly used a fictitious letter of credit to obtain US$136 million and 56 million euro ($118,846) in bank loans from BNI issued to her company PT Gramarindo Group between 2002 and 2003. The alleged scam was worth Rp 1.7 trillion, roughly equivalent to Rp 4.5 trillion (US$312.2 million) in today’s money.