50 officials suspected of money laundering

Padangekspres.net-Over 50 officials who are clients of alleged Citibank embezzler Inong Malinda, aka Melinda Dee, are suspected of being linked with the fraud case that may also indicate money laundering, Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK) officials say.

Chairman Yunus Husein said on Wednesday that the PPATK was studying money-laundering indications in 28 transaction reports from two insurance firms and eight banks, including unidentified state-owned, private and foreign-owned lenders.

“We have not figured out if the large amount of private banking funds came from money laundering … If we were to guess, using income statement analyses, or lifestyle and network analyses, we could jump to that conclusion. How come they have little income but the account shows huge amounts of money?” he said at a press briefing at the PPATK office in Jakarta, adding that there were several “former officials” who were clients of Malinda.

The National Police are currently investigating a case of alleged embezzlement of client’s funds and have taken into custody the 47-year-old former Citigold wealth manager, who, according to the PPATK, used four different identification cards in her alleged embezzlement operation.

When asked how many high-ranking officials were suspected of money laundering in the Citibank fraud case, PPATK supervisory and compliance director Subintoro said it “may be more than 50”.

“The modus operandi is rolling over funds into other funds. For instance, [Malinda] withdrew Rp 5 billion (US$580,000) from Customer A, which goes straight into her office. Later on, she covers the Rp 5 billion with Rp 10 billion withdrawn from Customer B. Then she will withdraw from another big customer. That goes on,” Subintoro said.

PPATK, Bank Indonesia (BI) and the police plan to cooperate in investigating the Citibank fraud case, which may be worth more than the initial Rp 16 billion, all of which belongs to Citibank’s first-class customers.

Yunus said that Malinda should definitely be charged with money laundering, as she “withdrew and shopped funds that were not hers but her customers’ without their permission”.

Article 4 of the Law on Money Laundering stipulates that charges of money laundering could carry a 20 year prison sentence and a Rp 10 billion fine.

Citibank's country corporate affairs chief Ditta Amahorseya said, in response to the PPATK findings, "The information is not true. All Citibank accounts have gone through the KYC (know your customer) process."

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