Indonesia lauds Serbia over extraditing fugitive in bank fraud case

Indonesia lauds Serbia over extraditing fugitive in bank fraud case

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD (left) and Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna Laoly (right) during a press conference on Maria Pauline Lumowa's extradition from Serbia, held at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on Thursday, July 9, 2020. (ANTARA PHOTO/Aditya Pradana Putra/foc/sw)

On behalf of the Indonesian government, I extend our gratitude to the Serbian government
Banten (ANTARA) - The Government of Indonesia praised its Serbian counterpart for its help in extraditing Maria Pauline Lumowa, a fugitive 17 years since being named a suspect, over Bank Negara Indonesia's (BNI's) US$136-million fraud case.

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD affirmed that the handover procedure of the fugitive was concluded owing to Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly’s intensive communication with the Serbian government.

To this end, Mahfud and Laoly held a press conference at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on Thursday after inspecting the process of Lumowa’s arrival in Indonesia.

"On behalf of the Indonesian government, I extend our gratitude to the Serbian government over the smooth cooperation as well as the facilities and assistance provided by the Serbian president owing to which we were able to bring back this fugitive," Mahfud informed the press.

"The law and human rights minister had communicated with the Serbian government since the past year until last night when the perpetrator was officially handed over," he remarked, adding that Lumowa will perhaps have another opportunity to be free if the process was extended by a week.

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Laoly conveyed Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic’s regards to President Joko Widodo, as he quoted the president as saying that the historical friendship between his nation and Indonesia in the fields of law, politics, economy, and culture will always be maintained and improved.

"This (extradition process) demonstrates our commitment towards the law enforcement process," Laoly stated.

Lumowa was extradited from Serbia on Wednesday, July 8, and arrived here on Thursday afternoon after which she was placed in detention by the Indonesian Police’s Criminal Investigation Agency (Bareskrim), pending further investigation.

Lumowa is one of the suspects, who allegedly used a fake letter of credit to commit a bank fraud. During the period from October 2002 to July 2003, the BNI liquidated US$136 million and 56 million Euros for the Gramarindo Group owned by Lumowa and her husband, Adrian Waworuntu.

"She is 'a burglar' of BNI (when she committed the crime along) with her partners by using a fake letter of credit in 2003 to get Rp1.2 trillion," Laoly stated while rectifying an earlier statement that the amount was Rp1.7 trillion when converted on the basis of today's exchange rate.

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