Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Authorities Say Papua Governor Has Spent $39m on Casinos

Muhammad Aulia
September 19, 2022 | 6:32 pm
Papua Governor Lukas Enembe, left, is being examined by a doctor at his residence in Jayapura on Sept. 14, 2022. (Antara Photo)
Papua Governor Lukas Enembe, left, is being examined by a doctor at his residence in Jayapura on Sept. 14, 2022. (Antara Photo)

Jakarta. Indonesia’s anti-money laundering agency said on Monday they have evidence of expensive gambling transactions worth tens of millions of dollars by Papua Governor Lukas Enembe, who was recently named a corruption suspect but refused to surrender to authorities.

The Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center, or PPATK, said Lukas has made payments totaling 55 million Singapore dollars (US$39 million) to overseas casinos since 2017 after they analyzed the governor’s financial records at the request of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

"Part of our analyses involves cash deposit transactions amounting to 55 million Singapore dollars or equivalent to Rp 560 billion in certain periods," PPATK Head Ivan Yustiavandana told a news conference at the office of the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs in Jakarta.

At one point, Lukas spent 5 million Singapore dollars in a single casino payment, Ivan added.


In another indication of the governor’s lavish lifestyle, the KPK found that Lukas once paid 55,000 Singapore dollars for a watch.

"The PPATK received information from a foreign country about his gambling activities in two different countries and our analysis on this matter has been submitted to the KPK as well,” Ivan said but he declined to go into details.

He added that the agency has frozen transactions worth more than Rp 71 billion involving one of Lukas’ children and several other people in 11 financial service institutions including banks and insurance companies.

Chief Security Minister Mohammad Mahfud said at the same news conference that the corruption charge against the governor is based on evidence and analyses of his financial transactions.

“The case against Lukas Enembe is nothing about politics,” Mahfud said.

"We have PPATK reports suggesting corruption and suspicious money savings and transactions worth hundreds of billions of rupiah in 12 analyses that have been submitted to the KPK," the minister added.

His remarks came a week after the KPK summoned the governor for a deposition at the Papua Police headquarters in the city of Jayapura but Lukas failed to show up, citing health problems.

Lukas has denied any wrongdoing and a supporter said on Monday thousands of people will take to the street in Jayapura tomorrow to protest against the ongoing investigation and demand its termination.

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