Lukas Enembe, previous governor of Papua, an Indonesian state, is heading to prison for an eight-year sentence according to the Jakarta Globe. His conviction comes as a result of embezzling government funds, some of which were used to fund a high-stakes gambling lifestyle inclusive of visits to Singapore and Australia.
Enembe’s downfall came when his misuse of state funds for personal pursuits was revealed. He has been commanded by the court to reimburse IDR19.7 billion (US$1.2 million) or face an additional two years added to his sentence.
In his tenure as governor, the disgraced official was found guilty of taking bribes from private companies, in return approving their contracts. The bribes reportedly total at least IDR 47 billion (US$2.96 million), however, it’s speculated that the amount could be higher. The court declined the prosecution’s proposal that Enembe should repay the full amount received.
Enembe’s troubles don’t end there. He also faces charges of money laundering, as authorities discovered IDR82 billion (US$5.16 million) correlated to this case. These charges illustrate not only the extent of his corruption, but the calculated methods used to conceal the financial impropriety.
Investigators believe some of the embezzled funds found their way into the bank accounts of Enembe’s family members, including his wife and son. The government has since frozen these accounts.
Enembe’s financial transactions, as disclosed by Indonesia’s Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center, show a pattern of considerable payments that raise significant questions. These transactions include at least SGD55 million (US$39 million) in dealings with multiple foreign casinos since 2017.
Further, he has made several visits to Crown Resorts’ properties in Australia, where investigators found dubious deposits believed to have been made by him.
Examination of the ex-governor’s financial records show an instance of a single casino payment amounting to SGD5 million (US$3.46 million). This discovery sheds light on the scale of Enembe’s gamble and emphasis the enormity of his financial misconduct.
Should Enembe desire to return to politics post his incarceration, he will find himself unable to do so. The court has deemed him ineligible to hold any public office for five years following his release.
Despite his situation, Enembe maintained that he was innocent throughout his trial, arguing that the prosecution lacked substantial evidence. This defiance, perceived as disrespect towards the court, may have influenced the sentence and its severity. His defense team, displeased with the conviction, hinted at an appeal.
In the interim, the court has instructed the confiscation and sale of his property to pay the fine.