The Jakarta Post
The National Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) has arrested three members of an international crime syndicate for the alleged theft of Rp 58 billion (US$3.93 million) intended for the purchase of medical equipment, including ventilators for COVID-19 patients.
Bareskrim head Comr. Gen. Listyo Sigit Prabowo told the press on Monday that the syndicate had stolen money transferred under a contract of sale between two foreign healthcare technology firms: Althea Group from Italy and Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics from China.
“An individual who was posing as a general manager of the Italian firm said there had been a change in bank accounts […], which resulted in the money being redirected to an Indonesian bank account,” Listyo said.
Interpol Italy had tipped Interpol Indonesia off about the crime, he said. The information was later passed on to Bareskrim.
According to a preliminary police investigation, a Nigerian-Indonesian crime syndicate had used the so-called “business email compromise” method to con the firms out of the funds.
A total of 3.67 million euro ($4.34 million) was sent to the Indonesian account in three separate bank transfers, Listyo said.
The police have arrested three suspects and have seized a portion of the recovered money as evidence.
“Thanks to the cooperation between Interpol Italy, Interpol Indonesia, Bareskrim and colleagues from the PPATK [Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center], we have managed to arrest three of the perpetrators in Jakarta, Padang [West Sumatra] and Bogor [West Java],” Listyo said.
“We have seized the funds stored in a sharia bank account, totaling Rp 56 billion.”
He added that the police were pursuing a fourth suspect, a foreign citizen identified as DM, who remained at large.
The police have also retrieved two cars, a private plot of land and a number of company documents.
The suspects were charged under Article 378 of the Criminal Code, Article 85 of Law No. 3/2011 on bank transfers and Article 10 of Law No. 8/2010 on money laundering.