Witch Doctor Involved in $2m Theft from Bank Mandiri Account

By webadmin on 05:27 pm Feb 23, 2011
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Dion Bisara

A witch doctor and a bank employee have been arrested by police in Indonesia after a total of Rp 18 billion ($2 million) was allegedly stolen from the account of a wealthy Bank Mandiri customer.

The case could damage the reputation of Indonesia’s largest lender, with 30 percent of its third-party funds sourced from the deposits of its priority banking customers.

Sr. Comr. Yan Fitri Halimansyah, chief of special crimes for the Jakarta Police, said on Wednesday that three suspects had been taken into custody after the embezzlement case was reported last week.

Yan said the female employee, identified by her initial R, carried out a number of unauthorized money transfers from an account belonging to M for payment to a female shaman, J, in Depok.

“R did that because her child is suffering from a long-lasting eye illness and allergies,” Yan said. “She went to the shaman, who convinced her to ‘borrow’ some money from the bank.”

He said the shaman then used the money in a land deal and promised 2.5 percent of the profits to R.

Yan said R transferred the money to the account of J’s accomplice, D, over a four-month period.

He said a number of withdrawals ranging from Rp 300 million to Rp 1 billion were made, with the total number of transactions totaling Rp 18 billion.

After each transfer, D immediately withdrew the money, Yan said.

He said that before R was able to repay the money, the Bank Mandiri customer noticed the discrepancy in their account and reported the case to police.