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AGO exposes Budi Said's Rp 1.1 trillion Antam Gold scam

Jakarta Globe - January 21, 2024

Thomas Rizal, Jakarta – Budi Said, a businessman from Surabaya in East Java, orchestrated a fraudulent gold transaction scheme, deceiving the state-owned mining company Aneka Tambang (Antam) and resulting in a scam amounting to Rp 1.1 trillion ($70.51 million).

Following a series of legal proceedings between Budi and Antam since 2020, the Attorney General's Office (AGO) officially declared Budi as a suspect on Jan. 18, 2024, in a case related to illegal transactions and a conspiracy surrounding the buying and selling of gold from Antam. Budi is currently in custody at the Salemba Detention Center.

Kuntadi, the Director of Investigation at the AGO, has shed light on how Budi, a well-known figure in Surabaya's affluent circles, orchestrated the fraudulent scheme.

He said that the case traces back to March to November 2018 when Budi, often referred to as Crazy-Rich Surabaya by local media, collaborated with several individuals identified by the initials EA, AP, EKA, and MD. They were involved in a criminal conspiracy, manipulating gold transactions, with some of these individuals being employees of Antam.

"The suspect and several others manipulated gold transactions by deliberately setting the selling price below Antam's established price. They claimed it was due to a discount from Antam, even though Antam did not offer any discounts," said Kuntadi.

"To conceal these illicit transactions, the suspect and his accomplices employed transaction methods that deviated from Antam's established mechanisms. Consequently, Antam lost control over the quantity of precious metals and the monetary value of the transactions, resulting in a substantial discrepancy between the funds provided by the suspect and the actual amount of gold delivered," Kuntadi elaborated.

To cover up this discrepancy, Kuntadi further explained that the suspects created fake documents, making it appear as if the transactions had been completed and that Antam had a shortage in delivering the precious metals.

Due to this criminal conspiracy, Antam suffered losses amounting to 1,1 tons of gold or approximately Rp 1.1 trillion.

The case started in 2018 when Budi, who owns the property company Tridjaya Kartika Group, purchased 7 tons of gold worth Rp 3.5 trillion (at the current time) from Eksi Anggraeni, a marketing representative of Antam's gold boutique in Surabaya.

Budi gradually transferred the agreed-upon amount, but he only received 5.9 tons of gold. He said the outstanding 1,1 tons of gold were never delivered to him.

Feeling deceived, Budi sent letters to Antam's Surabaya branch. When he received no response, he wrote to Antam's headquarters in Jakarta, which stated that Antam had never sold gold at a discounted price.

In January 2020, Budi took legal action by filing a lawsuit against Antam at the Surabaya District Court. Following the court proceedings, the Surabaya District Court ruled in favor of Budi and instructed Antam to deliver the missing gold to him.

In August 2021, Antam filed a lawsuit at the Surabaya High Court. The High Court later annulled the Surabaya District Court's decision and rejected Budi's lawsuit.

Discontent with the Surabaya High Court's decision, Budi filed an appeal to the Supreme Court (MA). In July 2022, the Supreme Court accepted Budi's lawsuit, overturning the decision of the Surabaya High Court. The Supreme Court ordered Antam to compensate for the losses.

The case continued with Antam filing for a judicial review, but the Supreme Court rejected this on Sept. 12, 2023. Antam was instructed to pay the outstanding 1,1 tons to Budi.

Subsequently, Antam filed a lawsuit against Budi and several of its former employees, namely Eksi Anggraeni (marketing staff), Endang Kumoro (Head of Surabaya Gold Boutique), Misdianto (Administrative Staff), and Ahmad Purwanto (General Trading Manufacturing and Senior Officer at Antam).

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/ago-exposes-budi-saids-rp-11-trillion-antam-gold-sca