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Atut dynasty's member accused of embezzling Rp 1.7 trillion over 7 years in Banten

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Jakarta Post - November 1, 2019

Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has indicted Tubagus "Wawan" Chaeri Wardana, the younger brother of former Banten governor Ratu Atut Chosiyah, accusing him of accepting illicit payments amounting to more than Rp 1.7 trillion (US$120 million) in relation to projects in the province between 2005 and 2012.

KPK prosecutors read out Wawan's indictment at the Jakarta Corruption Court on Thursday, accusing the member of Ratu Atut's dynasty of money laundering as well as defrauding a 2012 project to procure medical equipment in the province.

"The defendant, through his companies or other companies that are affiliated with his, received benefits from projects owned or authorized by [Wawan] or illicit income from several projects in a number of regional working units in Banten and its surrounding areas," KPK prosecutor Titto Jaelani said, reading out the indictment on Thursday.

According to the KPK, Wawan allegedly received illicit payments of various amounts totaling billions of rupiah each year, ranging from Rp 51.97 billion and Rp 213 billion to Rp 617.42 billion, from 2005 until 2012.

The antigraft body accused Wawan of money laundering by placing or transferring the embezzled money into several bank accounts.

He allegedly used the money to purchase vehicles and property under other people's names. The assets were then transferred to his name, his company or to other companies he was affiliated with, according to the KPK.

Wawan also reportedly used the money to fund the election campaign of his wife, South Tangerang Mayor Airin Rachmi Diany, to the tune of around Rp 2.9 billion.

The KPK also accused Wawan of giving Rp 3.8 billion to fund Ratu Atut's campaign during the Banten gubernatorial election as well as giving Rp 4.5 billion to fund the campaign of his sister Ratu Tatu in the Serang regional election.

Wawan was accused of receiving most of the benefits when Ratu Atut – who is currently serving a prison sentence having been convicted of graft in two separate cases – was serving as Banten governor.

After being found guilty of bribing then Constitutional Court chief justice Akil Mochtar over an election dispute in Banten in 2013, she was sentenced to another five years in prison in 2017 for her role in the medical equipment-procurement graft case.

Wawan was also sentenced to five years in prison for his involvement in the bribery case implicating Akil in 2014, but the Supreme Court decided to increase his punishment to seven years' imprisonment in 2015.

The antigraft body accused Wawan of receiving Rp 7.9 billion of illicit money in the graft case related to the medical-procurement project, kompas.com has reported.

Ratu Atut's family has been in the spotlight for years as the former governor gained notoriety for building a political dynasty, with many of her relatives controlling strategic political posts in the province. (gis)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/11/01/atut-dynastys-member-accused-of-embezzlingrp-1-7-trillion-over-7-years-in-banten.html

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