Rafat & Hesham: Catch us if you can!
Rafat Ali Rizvi and Hesham al Warraq are business partners of Robert Tantular at the troubled Bank Century. They blame each other for the mess that led to the controversial US$700 million bailout. Robert has been sentenced five years prison, but Rafat and Hesham are living in peace out there. Some Indonesian journalists have even been invited to interview Rafat in Singapore where he repeatedly said: I want to come to Indonesia to settle the mess. Will they?
It's ridiculous, sometimes, to read media reports about Rafat. Some reported Rafat was willing to come but he is prevented from entering the country. Why would the country do that while Rafat and Hesham are classified "wanted persons"?
This week, Susno Duadji, former chief of police detectives, told the House' special committee to investigate Century case that Rafat once sent letters to Indonesian government about his willingness to repay the US$700 million bailout funds but failed to get satisfactory responds from finance ministry. But isn't this strange? If you have been charged of embezzling US$700 million, why would you come out and say "I will repay!"?
Looks like that these guys want to get the embezzled funds unlocked. Today Kompas reported that Rafat and Hesham could enter the country because they're only prevented from going out of the country. Of course they can, or "warmly welcomed to face the prosecution", to be exact.
AGO said trial on them will be done in absentia in Jakarta and can't accept their demands to have the trial in London, UK instead.
Indonesian police have identified over US$1 billion of assets controlled by Robert, Rafat, Hesham, and companies related to them in various countries. Police claimed that these assets have been frozen and that Indonesian government could only get these funds if they're convicted in crimes.
Two weeks ago, national newspapers published Rafat statement saying "he and Hesham were willing to testify before the House committee for Century investigation", but not in Jakarta. They want the Committee meet them in London instead. They accused Robert is the mastermind of all frauds at Century and that they're also the victims. Really?
Well, Bank Indonesia deputy governor Budi Rochadi said "Rafat is a thief." Former deputy governor Aulia Pohan, father in law of Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (son of President SBY), considers Rafat as the most dangerous person in the world. Rafat dropped a bomb late last year when he told reporters (in Singapore? Who invited? Who arranged?) that Robert Tantular financed the selection process for one of the officials at Bank Indonesia to become senior deputy governor.
Well...soon, Rafat and Hesham might be convicted in an in absentia court proceedings for a simple reason: We can't touch anybody hiding in SINGAPORE!!!!! Save INdonesians to Get Away from POlice arREsts!
PS: Hesham, born in Cairo, Egypt, April 12, 1958 is a Saudi Arabia citizen, while Rafat born in Pakistan, October 22, 1960 is a UK citizen.