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Crazy Rich Surabaya Budi Said detained for US$76M gold trading fraud

Indonesian tycoon, Budi Said faces corruption charges for orchestrating a gold trading scam, causing a massive Rp1.2 trillion (approximately US$76.8 million) loss for Antam Ltd.

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"Crazy Rich" Surabaya resident Budi Said, who previously sued Antam Ltd., has been named a suspect at the Attorney General's Office. (Photo: Attorney General's Archive)

INDONESIA: The Attorney General’s Office of the Republic of Indonesia has declared Surabaya’s “Crazy Rich” businessman, Budi Said, responsible for engineering gold trading transactions that led to a staggering loss of Rp1.2 trillion (approximately US$76.8 million) for state-owned mining company Antam Ltd.

Director of Investigation at the Attorney General’s Office for Special Criminal Actions, Kuntadi, revealed the findings after questioning 24 witnesses.

Kuntadi hinted at the possibility of other suspects beyond Budi Said, particularly within Antam Ltd.

“We are currently investigating others, especially those from Antam Ltd., and we hope to determine our stance as soon as possible,” stated Kuntadi in Jakarta on Thursday (18 Jan).

Budi Said allegedly collaborated with several Antam Ltd. employees, identified as AP, EK, and MD, along with an individual named EA, to manipulate gold transactions through his store.

Kuntadi clarified, “They set selling prices below those officially established by Antam Ltd., falsely claiming a discount from the company.”

To conceal the manipulation, transactions were conducted using mechanisms not specified by Antam Ltd.

Subsequently, Antam Ltd. couldn’t verify the consistency between the amount of gold left and the transaction value entering Butik Surabaya 1, an Antam’s branch in Surabaya.

“As a result, there was a significant discrepancy between the amount given by the suspect and the precious metal delivered by Antam Ltd.,” he added.

The difference was then covered up by forging fake agreements between the suspect and Butik Surabaya 1, stating that the transaction had occurred, and Antam Ltd. had a shortfall in delivering a certain amount of gold.

Kuntadi highlighted that the scheme involved selling gold below Antam Ltd.’s set prices under the guise of offering a discount.

As a consequence, Antam Ltd suffered a loss of 1,136 kilograms of precious metal, equivalent to approximately IDR 1.2 trillion.

Budi Said is suspected of violating Article 2 Paragraph 1 and Article 3 juncto Article 18 of the Anti-Corruption Law juncto Article 55 paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code.

Following a case review, Budi Said has been declared a suspect in this gold corruption case.

In facilitating the investigation process, Budi will be detained at Salemba Detention Center, Jakarta, a branch of the Attorney General’s Office, for the next 20 days.

It is worth noting that Budi Said had previously won a lawsuit against Antam Ltd. at the Supreme Court, which ordered Antam to compensate Budi with 1,136 kilograms of 24-karat gold bars.

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