Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesias National Narcotics Agency (BNN) uncovered a money laundering case involving Rp153 billion (US$11.4 million) worth of funds, allegedly earned from drugs trade.

"The crime was allegedly committed by Murtala, 33, who had links with M. Nasir and Abdullah networks, suspected of laundering drugs money," BNNs deputy for eradication of drugs trade, Inspector General Arman Depari said here on Thursday.

Murtala was arrested on November 19 in Medan, before he could leave for Malaysia. The suspect had allegedly received the money from sale of drugs through inter-bank transfers from buyers, namely Darkasih, M. Irsan, and Samsul. All three were detainees being held in separate prisons.

"To cover the crime and avoid the BNN as well as the PPATK (financial transaction report and analysis center) investigators, Murtala transferred Rp1.2 billion worth of funds using Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) on behalf of his wife," Arman disclosed.

His wifes bank account was then used for drugs trade. A drug dealer named Muzakkir, detained in Tanjung Gusta prison, was also linked.

"Muzakkir, in turn, is linked to M. Nasir and Abdullah network. They dont know each other and this was the characteristic way in which the drug network runs," Arman explained.

Murtala is a recidivist who has indulged in drug crimes repeatedly. He was sentenced to five years in jail for the same crime, and released in 2012.

"After his release, Murtala was involved in another drug crime and received money from drug trade through inter-bank transfers from buyers in jail," Arman informed.

BNN has seized a certain amount of money in several bank accounts, a house each in Medan and Aceh, respectively, a gas station in Medan, two cars and some jewelry.

The money laundering case involved a total of Rp153.7 billion. Of this amount, Rp143.6 billion were found deposited in several banks, Rp50 million were in cash besides RM25,000 in cash.

"The BNN continues to trace the flow of funds to Murtala, including funds that came from abroad," he noted.

The suspect faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail and Rp10 billion in fine, under section 137 (b) law on narcotics and section 3, 4, 5 law on money laundering.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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