Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Wed, January 29 2014, 9:25 AM
After confiscating 17 luxury vehicles — including a Ferrari and a Lamborghini — from Tubagus Chaeri “Wawan” Wardana on Monday, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) said on Tuesday that the hunt for the allegedly illicit wealth of the most politically wired businessman in Banten was far from over.
On Monday, the KPK raided several locations in Jakarta and Banten as part of its investigation into graft allegations involving Wawan and the family of Banten Governor Ratu Atut Chosiyah.
The antigraft agency emphasized on Tuesday that it would not stop its investigation and would seize Wawan’s other illicit assets as it believed it had not yet uncovered the full extent of his alleged involvement in graft.
“The team is trying to trace more assets. From Monday’s raids, we also confiscated documents that gave clues on the existence of other [illicit] assets,” KPK deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto said on Tuesday at the KPK headquarters.
A source at the KPK recently said that it had traced assets belonging to Wawan totaling more than Rp 50 billion (US$4.1 million) in the form of land and buildings allegedly tied to money laundering. The alleged illicit assets are located in Bali, West Java, Banten and Jakarta.
“The team is still working to trace more assets and the total will likely surprise us,” the source said.
Bambang said that of the 17 cars confiscated, some were luxury brands such as Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentley and Rolls Royce.
“Investigators also confiscated a Harley-Davidson motorcycle from Wawan’s house in South Jakarta on Monday,” Bambang said.
Bambang, however, refused to comment when asked whether the team was also looking into the involvement of benefactors of the “illicit” assets, including Wawan’s wife, South Tangerang Mayor Airin Rachmy Diani.
“That’s a good question, but today we only made an announcement about the confiscated assets. However, any passive recipients will also be charged under the Money Laundering Law,” he added.
Wawan and Atut have been detained for allegedly bribing former Constitutional Court chief justice Akil Mochtar, in return for a favorable ruling in a local election dispute for Lebak regency. After the arrest, the KPK raided Wawan’s house and found a number of luxury cars in the garage.
According to a wealth report she submitted to the KPK on Aug. 24, 2010, Airin was in possession of property worth Rp 103 billion and luxury cars such as a Range Rover Sport, a Mercedes-Benz, a Mini Cooper, a Lamborghini, a Toyota Alphard, a Ferrari and a Porsche Panamera worth Rp 22.1 billion. Her wealth could not be explained by her profile as a public official.
The KPK has also named Wawan and Atut suspects in two separate graft cases involving the procurement of medical equipment for the South Tangerang and Banten administrations. Later, the KPK charged Wawan with money laundering.
Wawan’s status as a suspect in the procurement of medical equipment for the South Tangerang administration raised suspicions that the mayor may have played a role in the case.
The raid at Airin’s official house in South Tangerang on Monday has further fueled suspicions about her possible role in the case, given her position as a decision-maker in the municipality. In the Banten administration, Wawan’s companies were awarded many procurement projects, thanks to the far-reaching web of power of his sister, Atut, in the province.
Separately, Wawan’s lawyer, Maqdir Ismail, lambasted the KPK, saying it had no strong grounds to confiscate the assets, which he claimed came from legal activities.
“He has been a businessman for years so it’s normal if he has a lot of assets. I doubt the legality of Wawan’s status as a money-laundering suspect,” Maqdir said.
Responding to allegations that Wawan’s companies was awarded many tenders by regional and provincial administrations, Maqdir said: “There is nothing wrong with that as the companies won the procurement project through legal procedures.”