Indonesian businessman accused of using almost US$2mln of state funds in local casinos

An Indonesian businessman on trial for corruption allegations involving state-owned PT Jiwasraya’s insurance and investment group is accused of having used more than Rp28.3 billion (US$1.9 million) in state funds to re-pay gambling debts in Macau, according to Antara News.

Heru Hidayat, President Commissioner in PT Trada Alam Minera Tbk, a marine and terminal services section of the fund, is accused by Indonesian prosecutors of laundering money obtained from the Indonesian state health insurance group at casinos in Singapore, New Zealand, and Macau.

In January of this year, Indonesian auditors uncovered a US$2 billion hole in the state-owned insurance company, in a scandal impacting 17,000 buyers of investment products and 7 million clients.

Hidayat is one of the company’s former managers being investigated for financial irregularities from product mispricing, reckless investment activities, aggressive window dressing and liquidity pressure.

He is accused of money laundering resulting from corruption in the management of PT Jiwasraya funds and investment funds, which were said to have been used to repay his gambling debts.

The origin of the money was said to have been concealed by transferring it to accounts held by a businessman named Freddy Gunawan.

According to report, prosecutors in July 2013 Hidayat repaid Rp21.1 billion in debts to an undisclosed local casino, with Rp7.2 billion repaid to MGM Macau in 2016.

Over the years Hidayat is also said to have made several gambling debt repayments to Resort World Sentosa and to Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, plus the Sky City casino in New Zealand.

If found guilty, Hidayat could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of Rp10 billion