Number of cars seized in judge corruption case a new record

Number of cars seized in judge corruption case a new record

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) said it would continue its hunt for assets allegedly linked to former Constitutional Court (MK) chief justice Akil Mochtar, after confiscating 21 cars in relation to his case within two days.

KPK spokesman Johan Budi said the commission had seized the cars late on Thursday and throughout Friday in relation to the bribery and money-laundering charges leveled against Akil.

"The cars were confiscated in periodic fashion. [We seized] 16 cars at first, then another two cars. So now, a total of 18 cars have been secured at KPK headquarters," he said. "These will be followed by a further three cars this [Friday] afternoon."

According to Johan, the last three cars were seized from three locations: a house in Cempaka Putih, Central Jakarta; another in Depok; and a showroom in Puncak, Bogor, West Java. "Some of the cars are thought to be owned by Muhtar Effendi, one of the witnesses in Akil's case," he said.

Muhtar is a businessman suspected of acting as a middleman for Akil by demanding "fees" from local politicians in exchange for favourable rulings by the chief justice.

The cars taken by the KPK include a grey Mazda; a silver Xenia; a Daihatsu Zebra; a silver Mitsubishi Kuda; a blue Daihatsu Terios; a silver Toyota Yaris; a silver Mercedes Benz; a white Mercedes Benz; a silver Suzuki X-Road; a black Toyota Fortuner; a black Avanza; a blue Isuzu Panther; a silver Toyota Harrier; a silver Toyota Alphard; a silver Nissan; a blue Blazer; and a silver sedan.

Akil has been charged under Article 3 of the Money Laundering Law, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years' imprisonment.

The KPK said it had collected evidence of Akil's money-laundering activities by tracing transactions in and out of his bank accounts, which totaled more than Rp 100 billion (S$10.9 million).

Akil allegedly laundered the Rp 100 billion by sending the money to a company he ran in his hometown of Pontianak in West Kalimantan.

The KPK has also found evidence that Susi Tur Handayani, one of the suspects apprehended by KPK investigators at Akil's official residence, had transferred a large sum of money to Akil's company bank account in Pontianak.

Besides these latest 21 cars, the KPK had previously seized three luxury cars, namely a Mercedes Benz S350, an Audi Quattro 5 and a Toyota Crown Athlete, from Akil's private residence in Pancoran, South Jakarta.

Johan confirmed that with the number of seized cars totaling 24, Akil's case had set a record for vehicles confiscated by the commission.

KPK investigators also found Rp 2 billion worth of securities believed to be connected to the alleged money laundering, along with Rp 2.7 billion in cash, from Akil's house at the Widya Chandra housing complex in Kuningan, South Jakarta.

Johan said the commission's investigators had discovered that Akil had registered one of his cars, the Mercedes Benz S350, in the name of his driver, Daryono.

Akil's assets in Pontianak have also been confiscated, including his house on Jl. Karya Baru and another house that he claimed was owned by a relative.

A Toyota Fortuner owned by his wife, Ratu Rita, was also confiscated during a raid by the KPK.

Akil was earlier charged under Article 12(b) of the Corruption Law, which stipulates that it is a crime for a state official to accept gifts or gratuities in return for services rendered. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The former Constitutional Court chief justice has also been charged in relation to two other bribery cases: one surrounding a local election dispute in Gunung Mas, Central Kalimantan, and the other an election dispute in Lebak, Banten.

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