Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post | National | Tue, February 11 2014, 10:22 AM
The Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK) has confirmed speculation that illicit money from politically-wired Banten businessman Tubagus Chaeri “Wawan” Wardana flowed to a number of B-movie actresses.
PPATK deputy chief Agus Santoso said that the agency found evidence of suspicious transactions involving Wawan, the younger brother of Banten Governor Ratu Atut Chosiyah, and a number of actresses.
“I can’t recall their names because there are a lot of suspicious transactions in our report. Bear in mind, actresses usually use stage names,” Agus said, in response to a question on whether a number of actresses had indeed received Wawan’s alleged laundered money.
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 in Lebak regency. After the arrest, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) raided Wawan’s house and found a number of luxury cars in the garage.
The KPK has also named Wawan and Atut suspects in two separate graft cases involving the procurement of medical equipment for the administrations of Banten province and South Tangerang regency, where his wife Airin Rachmy Diany serves as mayor. Later, the KPK charged Wawan with money laundering.
Speculation was rife that Wawan’s illicit money or assets flowed to a number of B-list actresses after the PPTAK handed over a report on his financial transactions to the KPK last week.
The KPK used the report to trace more of Wawan’s illicit assets, which is estimated to be worth Rp 50 billion (US$4.1 million).
An unofficial report said that upon discovering Wawan had wired money to the actresses, his wife Airin went ballistic and asked for a divorce.
KPK spokesman Johan Budi, however, denied that a number of actresses had received Wawan’s illicit money or assets.
“As of today, I have not received formal information about it,” Johan said on Monday.
One of the actresses who allegedly received the illicit money was Aura Kasih, 25, who is also known as a singer and model.
Aura has denied the allegation.
“None of this is true. I do not know Pak Wawan. I hope God gives me the strength to get through this difficult situation,” Aura said on her Twitter account @aurakasih87.
The KPK’s investigation had earlier revealed that money from graft suspects had flowed to actresses and television personalities.
Graft and money-laundering convict Ahmad Fathanah, a close aide to former Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) chairman Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq, was linked to a number of singers and models including Ayu Azhari, Sefty Sanustika, Vitalia Sesyha, Kurnia Rahayu, all of whom have denied receiving any money from Fathanah.
Ayu returned $1,800 and Rp 20 million she received from Fathanah to the KPK after her name was revealed in the media for accepting the cash.
Meanwhile, the money laundering case implicating Akil also implicated a number of actresses namely, dangdut singers Rya Fitria, Evie Tamala and Iis Dahlia. Rya allegedly received up to Rp 900 million over the course of five years from Akil.
Akil’s lawyer, Tamsil Sjoekoer, said his client hired the three dangdut singers to perform during his campaign at the 2007 West Kalimantan gubernatorial election.
“Each of them had charged different rates,” he said. “Iis Dahlia was the most expensive.” Tamsil said last year.
Contacted separately, Wawan’s lawyer Magdir Ismail said that the allegations against his client were baseless.
“It is true that Pak Wawan knows a lot of actresses because how owns a production house, but the allegations that he wired money to a number of actresses is completely untrue,” Magdir told The Jakarta Post on Monday.