Posted by: mulrickillion | April 13, 2011

Who Got Swindled at Citibank Indonesia?

Asia Sentinel, 08 April 2011 —

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In happier days for Malinda Dee, far right

Police generals suspected of keeping their loose change in Citigold accounts, as the mess for the bank gets worse by the day

The big question that Jakarta authorities appear to be dancing delicately around in the US$2.3 million Citibank fraud scandal that that has transfixed Indonesia over the past couple of weeks is who got defrauded.

National Police officers investigating Inong Malinda Dee, a curvaceous 47-year-old senior Citibank relationship manager who is accused of misappropriating her clients’ money, have yet to offer any clue as to who among Dee’s list of some 500 premium "Citigold" customers was defrauded.

There are growing suspicions in Jakarta that some of the swindled customers don’t want their names made public because they might have to explain how they came by enough money to avail of ultra-premium private banking services normally reserved for the very wealthy.

"This is the parlor game of the moment," a Jakarta source told Asia Sentinel. "Trying to figure out who fell under the sway of the Dee."

"No one wants to admit to this," said an aide to Vice President Boediono. One senior politician just laughed. "This is all anyone is talking about," he said. "I doubt anyone will admit to losing money."

Only three victims have filed complaints with police, but even their names are not known. Dee’s personal wealth, including premium luxury cars and a wide range of properties, might also give substance to allegations that she borrowed a lot more than the US$2 million from her customers’ accounts.

One name that has surfaced is that of the head of internal affairs for the National Police, Inspector General Budi Gunawan, who denied he was one of her victims after being named in a Koran Tempo daily newspaper article as having filed a complaint with the police.

Intriguingly, Gunawan’s name also surfaced in a Tempo Magazine article last June that listed a variety of police officials with wads of unexplained wealth. Gunawan was listed as the third richest among the bunch, with Rp4.68 billion (US$518,732.3967) in accounts as of Aug. 19, 2008. He was alleged to have opened another account with his son and deposited Rp29 billion and Rp25 billion respectively although the bank wasn’t named. At the time, Gunawan indignantly said, "The report is completely not true."

National Police earlier this week officially denied that Gunawan or any other police officer had any money in Dee’s keeping. "I can assure you that none of the victims is a police general. It’s just a rumor, which I don’t know came from where," the head of the National Police’s special crimes unit, Brig. Gen. Arief Sulistyo, told reporters Wednesday.

The widespread supposition in Jakarta is that Gunawan, who was once very close to former President Megawati Sukarnoputri of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle as her police aide, isn’t the only official believed to have money stashed away in the Citi accounts.

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These days its a head scarf and too many questions

The year-old Tempo story, using information from the respected Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), cited a raft of top police officials as having unexplained wealth. They included, in addition to Gunawan, Mathius Salempang, the East Kalimantan Provincial Police Chief; Sylvanus Yulian Wenas, chief of the Mobile Brigade Special Unit; Badrodin Haiti, Head of the Police Law Development Division; Susno Duadji, ex-Chief of the Investigation and Crime Unit, and Bambang Suparno, a lecturer at the Police Academy. All denied the Tempo story. Unknown persons who were believed to represent police officials attempted to buy up the entire monthly edition of the magazine, only to have editors order 30,000 reprints.

Of the batch named by Tempo, only the colorful Susno, once a candidate for National Police chief, came forward to say that a number of police officers had acquired wealth through soliciting bribes and other means. His attempt at whistle blowing was met by a prosecution for corruption. He was convicted on March 24 and sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison. The sentence is being appealed.

"I wasn’t surprised that there were attempts to retaliate against what I’m doing," Susno told the Jakarta Globe in an interview after his conviction. He said he was "framed" because he tried to clean up the police force. . . .

Asia Sentinel – Who Got Swindled at Citibank Indonesia?

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See also Twin Nightmares for Citibank Indonesia

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