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Bareskrim blocks Al Zaytun leader's 144 bank accounts

Jakarta Post - November 3, 2023

Jakarta – The National Police Criminal Investigation Agency (Bareskrim) has blocked 144 accounts affiliated with the leader of the Al Zaytun Islamic Boarding School, Panji Gumilang.

The action was prompted by Bareskrim's Directorate of Special Economic Crimes identifying Panji's connection with embezzlement and money laundering at the Indonesian Islamic Boarding School Foundation (YPI).

Special economic crimes director Brig. Gen. Whisnu Hermawan disclosed on Thursday that 144 accounts had been blocked. Only 14 of them were found to contain money, totaling approximately Rp 200 billion (US$12.68 million), which has all been confiscated.

The money laundering case came to light after investigators discovered that Panji had borrowed money from J Trust Bank using the name YPI. The Rp 73-billion loan, however, was used for personal expenses.

"The funds borrowed by the foundation were redirected into APG's [Panji Gumilang] personal accounts and used for APG's personal interests. Subsequently, the installments were deducted from the foundation's account," Whisnu said.

Panji Gumilang is facing charges under Article 372 of the Criminal Code on embezzlement as well as Articles 3, 4, 5 and 10 of Law No. 8/2010 on Money Laundering.

In addition to embezzlement, he is also being prosecuted under Article 70 in conjunction with Article 5 of Law No. 28/2004 on the amendments to Law No. 16/2001 on Foundations.

It also came to light that Panji has five different names: Abdussalam Panji Gumilang, Abdussalam Rasyidi Panji Gumilang, Abu Totok, Abu Ma'arik and Samsul Alam.

Additionally, Panji is facing charges related to alleged blasphemy, hate speech and spreading false information. The blasphemy case stems from the controversy over teachings that allegedly took place at the Al Zaytun Islamic Boarding School.

In total, the charges against him may carry a maximum prison sentence of up to 10 years.

The Indramayu Prosecutor's Office is currently deliberating whether the trial should take place in Jakarta or Indramayu. Authorities are taking Panji's safety into account, and if Indramayu is deemed unsafe, the trial will be moved to Jakarta.

The West Java chapter of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) has recommended that Panji's trial be conducted in Jakarta to ensure a conducive environment, as they believe that Indramayu's residents may hold antagonistic views toward him.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2023/11/03/bareskrim-blocks-al-zaytun-leaders-144-bank-accounts.htm