Thursday, February 04, 2010

Sampoerna, Lin Che Wei, & SBY-Boediono?

Boedi Sampoerna is one of 2009 newsmakers. His over US$200 million funds at Century has become the target of various investigations. What is the relationship between Sampoerna and people in power?
Media reports pointed to Lin Che Wei, former CEO of Danareksa (state-owned investment bank) as "consultant" for Boedi Sampoerna and his son Soenarjo (his name is mentioned by George Aditjondro in his controversial book Gurita Cikeas in relation to Jurnal Nasional newspaper). Interestingly, Lin Che Wei was also an active member in SBY-Boediono campaign team. He was quoted by various media reports during the election for his support to Boediono as VP.
Koran Jakarta in its Sunday, May 31, 2009 edition wrote an article titled Ideologi Hanya Sebuah Permainan. In the article, Che Wei explained why he joined SBY-Boediono team. "They're both well respected by market and public," he said. Unfortunately the newspaper didn't explain in detail when Che Wei joined SBY-Boediono team.
Lin Che Wei once told that Century bailout has nothing to do with "lobbies" from Boedi Sampoerna. In September 15, 2009, the online publication quoted Che Wei saying "one thing is clear, before Century bailout, I, as advisor, Boedi or his son Sunaryo Sampoerna, never lobbied anybody. Sampoerna family never asked bailout on Century."
In a press release dated January 29, 2009, published by, three months after the bailout, Che Wei, in his capacity as representative of Boedi Sampoerna, said initially Boedi had difficulties in releasing his funds at Century, especially when the bank was controlled by Robert Tantular.
Boedi, according to recent reports, has withdrawn Rp385 billion out of US$200 million funds in Century. The House' special committee to investigate Century plans to dig deeper into the withdrawals.
Without the bailout, Sampoerna would have lost his US$200 million. But prior to the bailout, Century divided US$42.8 million of the funds into 247 accounts worth Rp2 billion each in anticipation of possible closing down of the bank. The question, why they stopped at US$42.8 million and not the whole US$200 million?
Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) grilled Boedi for almost nine hours yesterday. PDI-P legislators push DPR's special committee to investigate further the sub-plot of the Century case.

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