Police, PPATK to trace First Travel fund

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Police has worked, in coordination with the Financial Transaction Report and Analysis Centre (PPATK), to trace the fund from 31 bank accounts owned by travel agent First Anugerah Karya Wisata (First Travel) in the alleged umrah scam.

"There are 31 bank accounts, and we have checked them with the PPATK to trace the fund," the director of general crimes of the police criminal investigation department (Bareskrim) Brigadier General Herry Rudolf Nahak said here on Tuesday.

Apart from the 31 bank accounts, the police have blocked 13 other accounts, including accounts on behalf of Andika, Anniesa, Siti Nuraida, and First Travel.

Andika Surachman, the president director of First Travel, has been named a suspect along with his wife Anniesa Hasibuan, the owner and director of the company.

Siti Nuraida, alias Kiki, is a sister of Hasibuan, who was a commissioner as well as financial director of First Travel. The police has also named her a suspect in the case.

Herry remarked that from Dec 2016 to May 2017, a total 72,682 clients were registered for the travel agents umrah promotion package, of which only 14 thousand have already departed for the umrah.

The remaining 58,682 people have fallen victims to the alleged fraud.

The fraud has caused financial loss of Rp848 billion, which is comprised of Rp839 billion for the umrah package and Rp9.5 billion for chartered aircraft.

Andika also owed Rp85 billion to ticket providers, Rp9.7 billion to visa providers, and Rp24 billion to several hotels in Mecca and Madina, Saudi Arabia, where First Travel customers had stayed from 2015 to 2017.

First Travel has offered cheap umrah package to its clients at Rp14.4 million per person for package 1, while it offered regular umrah package at Rp25 million and Rp54 million for VIP packages.

"To attract more public interest, the suspects have dispatched some of its clients for umrah," he remarked.

In May, the suspects offered to pay its clients additional cost of Rp2.5 million to charter aircraft if they wanted to travel soon.

The suspects have also offered additional rates of Rp3 million to Rp8 million for Ramadhan package.

The case is investigated under section 378 of criminal code, law no. 8/2010 on money laundering and law no. 19/2016 on electronic information and transaction.

Source: Antara News

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