Crime Files Network

Archive for the ‘CORRUPTION’ Category

Beijing: A senior Chinese policeman has been jailed for 17 years for embezzling money to buy two Australian homes for his two daughters.

The Australian real estate purchases were among a huge property portfolio, with no obvious legitimate source of funding, Chinese prosecutors said.

Wang Jun Ren police chief of Guta District of Jinzhou City image

One of the homes is a four bedroom, two bathroom house in Revesby Heights in NSW, Australian property records show.

Wang Jun Ren, 59, was the police chief of Guta District of Jinzhou City in Liaoning province, when he began asking a local property developer for millions of Chinese yuan to pay for the Australian real estate purchases for his family.

In return, he outsourced up to 20 construction projects to the property developer, including the construction of police stations, Chinese court documents show.

In 2008, documents showed Wang took 2.36 million Chinese yuan (440,000) from a Beizhen city property developer to buy a property for his oldest daughter, Wang Ju, and her husband, Jin Jing, in Australia.

In August and December 2011, Wang reimbursed 101,911 Chinese yuan in airfares for his wife and daughters’ return travel to Australia from a police bureau bank account, the court was told.

The Revesby house was bought by Wang Ju and her husband for $840,000 in September 2011.

The house in Revesby Heights.image

In September 2013, Wang used public funds to convert currency into $20,000 to visit his family in Australia.

The same year he took another 4million Chinese yuan from the same property developer to buy an Australian property for his second daughter, Wang Ting. The money was transferred directly to her bank account in small amounts by the property developer’s employees, the court was told.

Wang was arrested in August 2015, confessed and returned some of the money last year. He was originally convicted in August 2016.

Around the time of the trial, his daughter moved out of the Revesby house. She has kept it as an investment property, and purchased another home in Sydney’s Castle Hill for $1.7 million.

But a 17-year-jail sentence and 1million Chinese yuan fine was handed down to Wang after Linghai City prosecutors appealed what they said was the earlier, lenient sentence. His wife has been on bail since December.

Wang was convicted of corruptly taking 174million yuan by himself, and another 24,800 yuan with his wife, taking bribes of 680million yuan, and having a huge amount of property of unknown source. That trial was held in December.

The jail sentence comprised of four years for corruption, 12 years for bribe taking, and four years for the unknown funding source of a huge number of properties.

The court heard evidence from the property developer detailing how he transferred the money to Australia, was told that Wang returned the favour to the property developer by outsourcing the construction projects to his company, including the construction of police stations.

The property developer’s son was employed as Wang’s driver at a police station.

“Extremely huge” bribes involved in handing out procurement contracts

judge-gavel-law-lawyer-suit-ruling-courtroom-court-image www.crimefiles.netChina flag and fence image

The former manager of a Chinese state-owned coal-mining firm has been found guilty of accepting bribes and given a death sentence.

From 2005 to 2011 Yu Tieyi was in charge of supplies to Heilongjiang Longmay Mining Holding Group Co Ltd, during which time he was accused of taking bribes in exchange for handing out bloated procurement contracts, according to a Monday report from Xinhua. In delivering the guilty verdict, the court in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang granted Yu Tieyi “leniency” for good behaviour, by giving him a two-year reprieve before the sentence is carried out.

The verdict stated the amount of Yu’s bribes was “extremely huge” and the state had suffered “a great loss,” both warranting the most severe penalty — death sentence without reprieve.

However, the court showed leniency because Yu had behaved well during investigation, reported the crimes of his accomplice, and returned most of the bribes.

The Chinese government under President Xi Jinping has cracked down on deep-rooted corruption since 2013 – with dozens of senior officials investigated or jailed. Known by its Orwellian title, the “Central Discipline Inspection Commission” has netted a number of big fish, including Jiang Jiemin, the former chairman of China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) who in September 2014 came under investigation. named a number of other prominent oil industry figures swept up by the state that year, including:

Bo Qiliang, PetroChina vice president in charge of CNPC’s overseas business, detained on or around May 13;

Zhang Benquan, general manager of CNPC’s Iran subsidiary, detained in April;

Yan Cunzhang, general manager of PetroChina’s foreign cooperation department, detained in April;

Li Hualin, former CNPC deputy general manager, reportedly a target of a Communist Party corruption probe;

Wang Daofu, former PetroChina chief geologist, under investigation along with Ran Xinquan, former general manager at PetroChina subsidiary Changqing Oilfield Co.;

Sun Weidong, former deputy manager of PetroChina subsidiary Yumen Oilfield Co., under investigation;

Yang Guoling, assistant general manager and senior accountant at Yumen Oilfield Co., indicted for corruption.

In March of this year the deputy general manager of Chinese coal conglomerate Kailuan Group came under investigation for “serious violations of discipline”, Reuters said.



Rogerson, McNamara trial: What happened in Unit 803?

The trial of Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara over the murder of Jamie Gao heard three stories of how the university student died in a Sydney storage unit.

Eleven years ago, Roger “Don’t call me The Dodger” Rogerson was sitting in the dock, clutching a John Grisham thriller as he waited to find out how long he would be spending in the Big House this time around.

“Few in the community would not have heard of Roger Rogerson,” said Judge Peter Berman in 2005, noting that Rogerson had once quipped the media had changed his name by deed poll to “Disgraced Former Detective”.

Roger Rogerson leaves Sydney's King Street Supreme Court in April 2016 image

Roger Rogerson leaves Sydney’s King Street Supreme Court in April 2016 after facing the court on murder charges. Photo: Christopher Pearce

On hearing his client had received a two-year jail term for lying to the Police Integrity Commission, his lawyer, Paul Kenny, said outside court: “Roger used to be a tough guy. These days he’s just a broken-down old man … completely broken by the system.”

Fast forward more than a decade and the “broken-down old man” is now 75, has dodgy hips, and is heading back to his home away from home – jail. He was on Wednesday found guilty of murdering university student Jamie Gao, with fellow ex-detective Glen McNamara. This will be Rogerson’s fourth stint behind bars.

Born in January 1941, Roger Caleb Rogerson was possibly the most corrupt police officer the country has ever known, although he has claimed the only corruption he was ever involved in was driving a police car while under the influence.

Rogerson after being released from Kirkconnell Correctional facility in 2006 image

Rogerson after being released from Kirkconnell Correctional facility in 2006. Photo: Adam Hollingworth

As a police officer, Rogerson was present on two occasions when police shot and killed people, and on another two occasions he shot and killed people himself. The most famous of these was the heroin dealer Warren Lanfranchi, whom Rogerson shot and killed in a laneway in Chippendale in June 1981.

Lanfranchi, who, according to his girlfriend, Sallie-Anne Huckstepp​, was unarmed and carrying $10,000 and was delivered to the meeting by major crime figure Neddy Smith, who is currently serving a life sentence for an unrelated murder. The money was never found.

At the inquest, Rogerson was found to have fatally shot Lanfranchi while trying to effect an arrest. Interestingly, the jury failed to find that it was in self-defence. Witnesses told the inquest that they had heard two shots which were 10 seconds apart.

Rogerson speaking to the media in 1985 image

Rogerson speaking to the media in 1985. Photo: Russell McPhedran

Years later, when the ABC screened Blue Murder, an explosive mini-series based on Rogerson’s infamy, he was less than impressed.

Of the scriptwriter, he said: “Ian David is a boof-headed, bald-headed, big-headed c—. I should have sued the c— and those f—wits at the ABC but of course I’ve got no credit left.”

And on the famous scene in Blue Murder which revisited Rogerson shooting Lanfranchi, Rogerson said: “I mean, he made it out to be this f—ing conspiracy between the 18 coppers who were there that day, when really it was just a Saturday afternoon’s work as far as we were concerned.”

Warren Lanfranchi, who was shot dead in Sydney's Chippendale in 1981. Rogerson was charged with his killing image

Warren Lanfranchi, who was shot dead in Sydney’s Chippendale in 1981.

Rogerson was charged with his killing.

In 1984, only three years after the Lanfranchi shooting, undercover detective Michael Drury was standing in his kitchen at his Chatswood home when he was shot. He gave what was taken to be a dying deposition that he was due to testify in a major drugs trial and that Rogerson had offered him a bribe to protect a Melbourne drug dealer. However, he survived.

In 1985, Rogerson faced trial and was acquitted of the bribery of Drury. In 1989, he was acquitted of conspiring, with Christopher Dale Flannery and the confessed drug dealer Alan Williams, to murder Drury.

As his famous barrister in the bribery case, Chester Porter, QC, was to recount some years later, it was Rogerson’s word against Drury’s. Not only did Rogerson prove to be most compelling in the witness box, but during the hearing Porter had lulled Drury into a false sense of security by getting him to extol his virtues as an undercover cop, one of which was the ability to lie.

Sallie-Anne Huckstepp found floating face down in a pond in Centennial Park.image

Sallie-Anne Huckstepp: found floating face down in a pond in Centennial Park.

“Very foolishly,” Porter later wrote in his autobiography, “he looked around at the magistrate’s court and said words to the effect that he could tell lies in the court, and nobody could pick him.”

Porter devastated Drury with this, pointing out that, as he was such a proficient liar, how was the jury to know when to believe him.

Apart from his trial, other matters were spiralling out of control for Rogerson in 1985.

Tony Martin (playing Neddy Smith) and Richard Roxburgh (playing Roger Rogerson) in the television show Blue Murder.image

Tony Martin (playing Neddy Smith) and Richard Roxburgh (playing Roger Rogerson) in the television show Blue Murder.

Huckstepp was found floating face down in a pond in Centennial Park. Neddy Smith was charged – and later acquitted – of her murder.

Then there was the problem of gangland murders threatening to bring everyone down. Hitman Chris Flannery, also known as Mr Rent-a-Kill, was not only a central figure in the underworld wars, he was out of control.

Flannery, who was last seen in May 1985, was believed to be the shooter at the attempted murder of Drury the previous year.

The real Neddy Smith with Roger Rogerson.image

The real Neddy Smith with Roger Rogerson.

At an inquest into Flannery’s suspected murder, Neddy Smith maintained that the one person Flannery trusted was Rogerson and that, after Flannery disappeared, Rogerson said to him: “Chris had to go, mate. He was becoming a danger to us all.”

Coroner Greg Glass announced that he suspected that Rogerson killed Chris Flannery. And if Rogerson didn’t kill Flannery, then he knew who did, the coroner said.

Rogerson later told Channel Nine’s Sunday program: “Flannery was a complete pest. The guys up here in Sydney tried to settle him down. They tried to look after him as best they could, but he was, I believe, out of control. Maybe it was the Melbourne instinct coming out of him. He didn’t want to do as he was told, he was out of control, and having overstepped that line, well, I suppose they said he had to go but I can assure you I had nothing to do with it.”

Former police officer Michael Drury. Roger Rogerson was charged with his attempted murder but found not guilty.image

Former police officer Michael Drury. Roger Rogerson was charged with his attempted murder but found not guilty. Photo: James Brickwood

Smith’s testimony at Flannery’s inquest revealed the bitter falling out with Rogerson. Asked by a journalist if he felt sorry that his most infamous informant was serving a life sentence as well as suffering from Parkinson’s disease, Rogerson replied: “Very sorry. I feel so sorry for Ned I hope he dies as quickly as possible.”


Rogerson: “Because he’s a c—! Ha ha ha ha! Because he’s a big strong bloke, a brilliant street-fighter in his day, a guy who, for a while there, was making $30,000 a f—ing minute and who had more cash than the Reserve f—ing Bank, and now he’s lost his marbles and that’s sad. I hate seeing blokes go to jail. I’m like Rex Hunt I catch ’em and I throw ’em back. For mine, jail doesn’t work. To me, the challenge was always catching ’em. And listen, I’ve never, ever denied having a good time doing it. I enjoyed being a cop. I met some fantastic people, worked some great cases and travelled to some wonderful places. It was good bloody fun.”

Christopher Flannery photographed in 1981 image

Christopher Flannery photographed in 1981.

Among the good times Rogerson enjoyed was an alleged romp with singer Shirley Bassey. Rogerson claims that he was walking to his favourite hamburger shop in the city when he spied someone hotfooting it across Goulburn Street “with a nice sequined handbag tucked under his arm”.

Rogerson told Ralph magazine: “So I chased after him, tackled him to the ground and elicited a confession out of him. Turns out he’d swiped Shirley Bassey’s handbag from backstage as she rehearsed for a gig at Chequers that night … Anyway, after I whipped this bloke up to Central and charged him, I walked back to Chequers with the handbag. I knew the owner pretty well and he introduced me to Shirley … and, well, let’s just say she showed her appreciation in a very special way.”

Interviewer: “Are you saying you banged Shirley Bassey, the same Shirley Bassey who sang Goldfinger, backstage at Chequers?”

Shirley Bassey, who Rogerson claims he 'got to know very well'image

Shirley Bassey, who Rogerson claims he ‘got to know very well’. Photo: Sandy Scheltema

Rogerson: “No, I’m not. I’m saying we got to know each other very well, and that’s all I want to say as a gentleman. The rest is private and secret … up until now.”

The “bloody good fun” Rogerson enjoyed as a rogue cop came to a crashing halt in 1986 when he was finally dismissed from the service after the Police Tribunal sustained seven of nine misconduct charges against him.

But, in a strange twist, it was the plans Rogerson made on the expectation he would be jailed for the Drury matter that ultimately brought him undone. While the jury was deliberating on his fate, Rogerson was overheard telling his then wife Joy about his secret bank accounts.

Rogerson on the speaking circuit with Mark Jacko Jackson and Warwick Capper.image

Rogerson on the speaking circuit with Mark “Jacko” Jackson and Warwick Capper. Photo: Rick Stevens

During his next trial, there was no sign of Chester Porter. Years later this silk explained.

“He told me quite a deal and when the facts came out about his secret banking accounts, it wasn’t completely consistent with what he told me. There could have been embarrassment,” Porter said.

In 1990, Rogerson was found guilty and jailed for conspiring to pervert the course of justice with two other men, including drug smuggler Nick Paltos, for organising bank accounts totalling $110,000 in false names. The accounts had been set up during the Drury trial

Anne Melocco leaving court after her husband was sentenced to two and a half years jail in 2005 image

Anne Melocco leaving court after her husband was sentenced to two and a half years jail in 2005. Photo: Wade Laube

He spent nine months in jail before being acquitted on appeal. But, in 1992, the appeal was quashed and Rogerson returned to Berrima jail until his release in 1995.

Rogerson turned to scaffolding on his release from jail with a sideline in regaling pub audiences with his tales of his police activities. This included auctioning signed photos of himself standing near Lanfranchi’s body as it lay in the gutter in Dangar Place, Chippendale.

But within a decade Rogerson was back in jail after being convicted of lying about bribing a Liverpool Council official to obtain work.

Former detective Roger Rogerson is one of the most notorious officers ever to have served in the NSW Police image

Rogerson had already committed perjury at the Police Integrity Commission before being told his house had been bugged for a long time and there were tapes that showed he was lying.

“It’s an absolute invasion of privacy!” he hissed from the witness box, demanding to know if he’d been taped having sex with his second wife Anne Melocco. “I want to know how good I am,” he said crossly.

Informed by counsel assisting David Frearson that there were no sex tapes because the commission was only interested in illegal activities, Rogerson retorted: “So there is no tapes there of me having sex, because that would be legal?”

He later muttered, “The sooner I leave this state the better.”

“Perhaps for other people as well,” Frearson deadpanned.

View to a kill: the death of Jamie Gao

Surveillance camera footage creates a detailed timeline of the 2014 killing of Jamie Gao.

Jamie Gao and Glen McNamara cctv stillEarly January, 2014 Jamie Gao and Glen McNamara meet at least 27 times in the lead-up to Gao’s death, often at the Meridian Hotel in Hurstville.

Rent a Space unit 803Early March, 2014  Roger Rogerson obtains keys to storage unit 803 at Rent a Space, Padstow, from a friend named Michael McGuire. Rogerson says he wanted to look at office furniture. Gao is eventually killed inside the shed.

April 27, 2014  A white Ford Falcon station wagon with number plates BV67PX is purchased ­at Outback Used Cars in Lethbridge Park. The car is later used to transport Gao’s body. Rogerson and McNamara deny involvement in the car’s acquisition, but Rogerson’s fingerprints are found on the receipt.

McNamara removes his 4.5 metre boat cctv stillMay 19, 2014  McNamara removes his 4.5 metre Quintrex boat from Hunter Self Storage at Taren Point without notifying staff. This is later used to dump Gao’s body at sea.

Rogerson and office chairs cctv stillMay 19, 3.15pm CCTV footage from Rent a Space captures Rogerson removing office chairs from storage unit 803 and placing them in the back of his silver Ford station wagon.

A white Nissan Silvia, consistant with Gao's car cctv stillMay 19, afternoon A white Nissan Silvia, consistent with Gao’s car, does a U-turn outside Rent a Space.

Jamie Gao and Glen McNamara Meridian Hotel, Hurstville cctv stillMay 19, 7.50pm  The night before Gao is killed, McNamara and Gao meet at the Meridian Hotel, Hurstville. The meeting lasts about 30 minutes.

McNamara walks to Cronulla Mall cctv stillMay 20, 11.37am McNamara uses a payphone in Cronulla Mall to call Gao. CCTV from Cold Rock Ice Creamery captures him walking towards the phone.

McNamara opening and shutting the door cctv stillMay 20, 1.17pm Rogerson and McNamara drive in separate cars to Rent a Space. McNamara is seen opening and closing the door four times in nine minutes.

Gao walking down Arab Road cctv stillMay 20, 1.35pm Gao is seen walking down Arab Road, Padstow, dressed in dark-coloured clothes, towards a white Ford station wagon that McNamara is in.

McNamara at front gate cctv stillMay 20, 1,42pm McNamara drives to the front gate of Rent a Space and enters the gate code – his hood is up and sunglasses are on.

Gao getting out of a white Ford station wagon cctv stillMay 20, 1.46pm Gao is seen getting out of the back of a white Ford station wagon and shielded by McNamara as he slips into storage unit 803. It is the last time he is seen alive.

Rogerson opens the door cctv stillMay 20, 1.49pm Rogerson opens the door to storage unit 803 exactly three minutes and 16 seconds after Gao and McNamara entered.

McNamara comes out of unit cctv stillMay 20, 2.03pm McNamara comes out of the storage unit, retrieves a silver Ocean & Earth surfboard bag from the white Ford station wagon, and returns to the storage unit.

McNamara and Rogerson are both seen dragging surfboard cover cctv stillMay 20, 2.18pm McNamara and Rogerson are seen dragging a surfboard cover containing Gao’s body, and load it into the boot of the white Ford station wagon.

Rogerson and McNamara are seen buying a two tonne chain block cctv stillMay 20, about 4pm Rogerson and McNamara are seen at Kennards Hire in Taren Point, buying a two-tonne chain block that was later used to lift Gao’s body into McNamara’s boat.

Rogerson and McNamara share a six pack of James Boag's cctv stillMay 20, about 5.15pm A few hours after the killing, Rogerson and McNamara share a six-pack of beer at McNamara’s unit in McDonald St, Cronulla. (McNamara claims he only helped to dispose of Gao’s body because his life was threatened by Rogerson.) 

Quintrex Boat being towed cctv stillMay 21, 7.28am A Quintrex boat carrying the body of Gao and a blue tarpaulin leaves McNamara’s Cronulla unit block.

McNamara and Rogerson are seen in the lift cctv stillMay 21, 7.32am McNamara and Rogerson are seen carrying fishing rods in the lift of McNamara’s unit block.

Quintrex boat being towed cctv stillMay 21, 11.05am After disposing of Gao’s body, McNamara brings his Quintrex boat back to Hunter Self Storage at Taren Point.

McNamara at Kmart cctv stillMay 22 McNamara says he was so worried when he found 3kg of ice in his car that he went to Kmart and bought two pillowslips, a measuring jug and a spoon. He claims this was to “seal” the drugs to stop them from exploding.

detectives arrest McNamaraMay 25, 6.30pm Robbery and Serious Crime Squad detectives arrest McNamara at a vehicle stop at Kyeemagh. He is refused bail and appears at Kogarah Local Court the following day.

Jamie Gao afloat inside a surfboard bag 2.5 kilomtres off the shoreMay 26 Fishermen spot the body of Jamie Gao inside a surfboard bag wrapped in blue tarpaulin about 2.5 kilometres offshore of Shelley Beach, Cronulla.

Rogerson arrested at Padstow Heights homeMay 27, 11am Police swoop on Rogerson’s Padstow Heights home. He is escorted out in handcuffs and taken to Bankstown police station, where he is refused bail.


China Overwhelmingly Supports Death Penalty for Corrupt Officials





The Communist Party chief famed for building China’s high-speed rail network has been given a suspended death sentence after he was revealed to have siphoned off hundreds of millions of dollars to fund a luxury life with 374 houses, 16 cars and a harem of mistresses.

As China’s railways minister, Liu Zhijun earned the nickname “Great Leap Liu” for his lightning overhaul of the country’s decrepit rail system into the world’s largest bullet train network.

But his extraordinary fall from grace came just as fast, as it emerged he had been presiding over one of the greatest thefts in Chinese history, embezzling more than 3 billion yuan ($535 million).


On Monday he became the highest ranking official to be punished for corruption since Xi Jinping, the new Chinese president, promised to clean up the party. The bespectacled 60-year-old was seen on state television weeping at the end his brief trial, which saw him sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve on charges of bribery and abuse of power.

The sentence – which, if Liu cooperates with the authorities, is likely to be commuted to life in a relatively comfortable prison – reflects the conflict within a Communist Party torn between the desire to rehabilitate its tarnished image and the need to manage its own internal politics. It had struggled for two-and-a-half years to decide what to do with Liu, a former farmer’s son hailed for his professional achievements and with political backers of the highest influence.

In the end, Liu faced charges over just a fragment of the 3 billion yuan embezzlement turned up by investigators. He was convicted of taking 64.6 million yuan in bribes in exchange for contracts and promotions. The court ruled that his assets should also be seized. But, in a move seemingly designed to help Liu escape the death penalty, most of his assets were treated as the property of one of his intermediaries, a businesswoman named Ding Shumiao.

“If he had been charged with the full extent, he would have been executed, there was no escape for him,” said a source familiar with his case. “The investigators collected a lot of evidence but only released a small amount to the prosecutors.”


Investigators have found that as well as the houses and cars, Liu had accumulated a hoard of paintings and jewellery and had stashed at least 800 million yuan in cash. Reports in state-owned media have suggested that he also kept 18 mistresses.

His true wealth, however, may have been far greater and almost all the properties that investigators did locate were held under the names of intermediaries.

“One of my clients, a property developer in Qingdao, said he had given two houses to Mr Liu but never formally transferred the deeds. Liu used them to house a couple of his mistresses,” said one lawyer.

Two sources with close connections to the railways ministry said that Liu was treated leniently because of his ties to Hu Haifeng, the son of former Chinese president Hu Jintao, and to Wang Xinliang, the son of the former politburo member Wang Zhaoguo.

As the politics of the case went back and forth, details designed to blacken Mr Liu’s name leaked into the Chinese media, including an allegation that a 46 million yuan television adaptation of the Chinese classic, Dream of the Red Chamber, was funded partly in order to allow Mr Liu to sleep with some of the 23 actresses involved.

Some analysts said the verdict was a blow to the credibility of the new anti-corruption campaign. Joseph Cheng, a politics professor at the City University in Hong Kong, said: “People are already very cynical about this campaign. This is 3 billion yuan you are talking about.

“How can you say you are serious about corruption when the top leaders never get executed and live comfortable lives in prison?”

The Daily Telegraph, London





Groper Career Test

The Indonesian government faces a new political crisis as the corruption trial of Muhammad Nazaruddin, the former treasurer of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democrat Party (PD), continues.

The anti-corruption court has heard evidence that senior party officials and the party as a whole are immersed in the endemic corruption of parliament and government that both Yudhoyono and the PD have built a reputation on fighting.

Nazaruddin first implicated senior PD officials after he fled the country last May while under investigation by Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) over construction contracts for the athletes’ village for the 2011 South East Asian Games. Nazaruddin was suspected of slicing $US3 million off the contracts, as well as receiving funds from other infrastructure projects and channelling some into party coffers.
Testimonial Monkey

Before he was arrested in August in Colombia and returned to Indonesia, Nazaruddin implicated PD chairman Anas Urbaningrum and Youth and Sports Minister Andi Mallarangeng in bribe taking. During his trial last month, he also named PD parliamentarian and deputy secretary-general Angelina Sondakh.

All three are now under KPK investigation. On February 6, KPK chief Abraham Samad named Sondakh as an official suspect, making her the subject of a specific criminal investigation. It is only a matter of time before the list of official suspects grows.

The Nazaruddin trial has been so politically damaging that the PD advisory committee was forced to meet twice within one week late last month to find ways to halt the slide in the party’s reputation and political standing. All the country’s parties are now positioning themselves for presidential and parliamentary elections in 2014.

On January 25, matters only worsened for PD. Yulianis, a senior employee of Nazaruddin’s Permai Group, gave extensive evidence of bribes paid on Nazaruddin’s behalf to parliamentarians and PD leaders to ensure the company received government contracts. She detailed how some 30 billion rupiah and $US5 million in cash was shifted to fund the 2010 PD party congress. Among a long list of names, she directly implicated Sondakh.
The Sacred Willow

On February 5, President Yudhoyono gave a press conference in which he effectively disowned Sondakh but continued to defend party chairman Anas. Yudhoyono said Anas had not been named as a suspect by the KPK and that until the KPK declared otherwise he believed Anas’s denial of bribery charges.

Yudhoyono called on the KPK to quickly resolve the bribery charges “so the Democrat Party does not become a target of attacks like it has in the past eight months.” He added, somewhat pointedly, that he did not believe that the KPK was deliberately prolonging investigations to damage the party for the 2014 elections. Obviously, this was not a view held by some PD members.

Support for PD is slipping. On February 5 an Indonesia Survey Circle poll put the party in third place behind Golkar, the party of the former Suharto dictatorship, and the Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) of former President Megawati Sukarnoputri.
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Yudhoyono, a former Suharto-era general, won the 2004 and 2009 presidential elections by posturing as a fighter against corruption. PD became the largest party in the parliamentary lower house on the same basis—Yudhoyono appealed to the popular anger over the corruption of the Suharto years.

Prior to the dictatorship’s overthrow in 1998, the Suharto family looted an estimated $45 billion, while the majority of the population lived on less than $2 a day. Yudhoyono helped to establish the KPK, but public scepticism has only grown as its investigations have targeted only middle-level officials and businessmen.

The main purpose of Yudhoyono’s anti-corruption drive was to demonstrate to international investors that the government was putting an end to the cronyism of the Suharto era. Investment was needed to build the infrastructure to transform the country into a more efficient cheap labour platform.

The corruption scandals embroiling PD have had a major impact on the party’s prospects. Moreover, having served two terms, Yudhoyono is ineligible to stand for the presidency in 2014. Anas and Sports Minister Mallarangeng were both considered possible presidential candidates.

On February 8, a comment in the Jakarta Post lamented the fact that “those graft suspects represent young politicians in whom the people have placed their trust for a better Indonesia.” It went on to suggest that people would no longer see any difference between the parties and might switch their votes to the old established parties, including Golkar.
Gem Rock Auctions

The corruption allegations reflect sharp tensions within Indonesian ruling circles. While the economy grew by around 6 percent in 2011, the business elite is confronting great uncertainties produced by the euro zone crisis and US stagnation. Yudhoyono is seeking to boost foreign investment, including for infrastructure, but compared to Singapore and South Korea, the country remains less open to foreign investors. 

The prospect of an economic slowing is further complicated by Indonesia’s economic dependence on China. Two-way trade has grown, as has Chinese investment in infrastructure and industrial projects. At the same time, Yudhoyono has been under pressure from the Obama administration to line up militarily with the US as Washington presses Beijing diplomatically, economically and strategically throughout Asia.

The main political beneficiary of the corruption scandals involving PD appears to be Golkar, despite its history of corruption and police-state methods of rule. Golkar retains close links to the US, especially the American military, as a result of Washington’s support for the Suharto dictatorship for more than three decades.
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THE Australian government authorised more than $10 million in suspected drug funds to be sent offshore in an extraordinary operation that revealed top Asian political and policing officials are involved in a criminal syndicate, according to an intelligence briefing.

The Australian Crime Commission briefing describes a multibillion-dollar international drug and money laundering network that poses ”a significant threat” to  Australia.

Read an edited extract from The Sting: Australia’s plot to crack a global drug empire

The briefing, seen by The Saturday Age, outlines the findings of Operation Dayu, a four-year intelligence investigation into large-scale money laundering and drug trafficking in the Asia-Pacific region. Operation Dayu included the running of an undercover money-laundering operation, a controversial but legal methodology that involved the ACC sending $10.6 million of suspected drug funds offshore to identify overseas crime bosses and their activities.

Operation Dayu, run in partnership with the Australian Federal Police, state agencies and anti-money-laundering agency Austrac, seized drugs worth an estimated $780 million and exposed a triad-led global criminal entity known as the “grandfather syndicate”.

The briefing says the syndicate is responsible for drug imports worth at least $1.2 billion into Australia annually, with some distributed by outlaw bikie gangs.


According to the briefing, Operation Dayu has uncovered intelligence that the grandfather syndicate has achieved “high-level infiltration of government in both law enforcement agencies and political circles” across much of Asia, including China, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, Laos and Cambodia.

“There are a number of other countries where this is suspected but not apparent to date,” it says.

One example cited in the briefing involves a “high-placed triad associate” of the grandfather syndicate “attending an Interpol conference in New York”.

The findings highlight the extraordinary challenge facing the Australian government and law enforcement agencies as they seek to combat drug importation via the nation’s porous and, according to some police sources, vulnerable or corrupted border security regime.

The grandfather syndicate has its origins in a “triad conglomerate” formed by formerly warring triad groups in Asia a decade ago.

It works much like a multinational company, with operating hubs around the globe that shift with demand and supply. Australia is a significant market for the syndicate because of the huge demand for drugs and the comparatively high prices Australians pay for them. The briefing says: “The pooling of resources of the main triad groups has allowed them to merge their contacts, assets and holdings, creating a well-established network of contacts across many governments as well as legitimate business and company structures, that enable them to mask and support their criminal activities.”

It consists of “three main heads based in south-east Asia and at least 22 other primary seats [bosses]” based around the globe, and it pours billions of dollars into “high-profile internet gambling facilities, Asian hotel chains and resorts, commercial construction companies, property companies in Hong Kong and Vietnam, casinos and casino ships”.

To move money, the syndicate uses “highly placed government officials, banking staff … and many other means to provide a service that will undercut any other overt or covert money transfer facility”.

Members or associates of the grandfather syndicate are believed by law enforcement officials to be responsible for importations into Australia dating back more than a decade.

These include shipments linked to jailed Sydney crime boss Duncan Lam Sak Cheung and a 105-kilogram heroin shipment in 2005 which led to the jailing of another Asian crime boss, Ly Vi Hung.

Other major seizures linked to Operation Dayu include a $500 million ecstasy bust in 2007, several seizures from Canada in 2008 totalling half a tonne of illicit drugs, and large drug busts in 2009 and 2010 linked to Asian crime figures or bikie gangs supplied by triad-linked importers.

The behind-the-scenes battle in Australian policing agencies and the federal government to confront organised crime – including the work of Operation Dayu – is detailed The Sting, written by Nick McKenzie (Melbourne University Press).


More charges expected

in banknote bribery investigation

04 Jul, 2011 06:41 AM

Australian trade officials met a colonel from a Vietnamese spy agency 18 times before suggesting to a Reserve Bank currency firm that it hire him as an agent in an arrangement that is now expected to lead to more corruption charges as part of the nation’s biggest bribery probe.

Fairfax reports that the Australian Federal Police investigated an Austrade commissioner after uncovering information about their role in helping banknote firm Securency International provide overseas travel for Vietnamese officials.

The revelation of Austrade’s intimate role in Securency’s allegedly corrupt Vietnam dealings comes just hours after German police swooped on a former senior sales executive from Note Printing Australia, the second RBA banknote company accused of bribing overseas officials.

The weekend arrest of Christian Boilott over his alleged role in a conspiracy to bribe overseas officials while working for NPA came just before his yacht was to sail in a European contest in Boltenhagen, in Germany.

Boilott, whom Australia authorities will seek to extradite, is the ninth man to be charged across the globe for their alleged role in the Reserve Bank banknote firms bribery scandal, with six Victorians and two Malaysians arrested on Friday.

The Vietnamese colonel also suspected of playing a key role in a bribery scheme allegedly driven by Reserve Bank companies, Securency and NPA, is yet to be questioned by Vietnamese authorities, who have so far declined to assist Australia in the global inquiry.

Former Australian diplomatic and trade officials have privately confirmed that Securency’s agent Anh Ngoc Luong’s status as a colonel in Vietnam’s spy agency, the Ministry of Public Security, was well known to the Australian embassy in Hanoi when Austrade suggested Securency appoint him and his company, CFTD, as its agent in 2002.

Information issued by Austrade and the Department of Foreign Affairs to Liberal senator Russell Trood show that Australian officials in Hanoi met or spoke to Colonel Luong 18 times between 1999 and 2001.

It is illegal for an Australian company to hire a foreign official as its paid agent, and Colonel Luong’s appointment is suspected to have begun one of the highest paying bribery arrangements that Securency set up across the globe, paying the colonel up to $20 million, much of it in suspected bribes.

In return, he helped Securency win a massive contract to turn Vietnam’s banknotes from paper to plastic.

Australian embassy staff in Hanoi continued to have close dealings, including intimate dinners, with Colonel Luong even after an Austrade commissioner formally warned the Australian Government and the RBA in 2007 and 2008 that he was a high-ranking Ministry of Public Security officer. The Ministry of Public Security is Vietnam’s internal security and counter espionage agency.

This information was also made available to the Securency board at that time. The board did not ask Securency management to end its arrangement with Colonel Luong.

The Austrade commissioner investigated by the AFP over Securency’s Vietnam dealings is understood to have helped arrange visas for Vietnamese officials to enter the US on a Securency-funded holiday.

The Austrade official has not been charged. Other Austrade officials have given statements to the AFP.

The revelation of Austrade’s intimate involvement with Securency’s Vietnam affairs is likely to increase pressure on the Gillard Government to agree with a push by Greens leader Bob Brown for a parliamentary inquiry into the roles of the trade agency and the RBA in the bribery scandal.

A senior federal government official has said that if an inquiry was held into Austrade’s relationship with Securency and Note Printing Australia ”it would emerge that the Australian Government has sanctioned and engaged in corruption”.

A high-ranking Austrade manager has told Fairfax that ”in the case of Securency … there is no doubt as to Austrade’s complicity as the agency not only made the introductions to CFTD but advised on how to deal with them”.

The RBA owns half of Securency and all of NPA.

During the period of the bribery offences, both companies were chaired by former deputy RBA governor Graeme Thompson and had RBA officials as directors.

In Vietnam, Securency has been charged with bribing the former Vietnamese central bank governor, Le Duc Thuy, by providing a scholarship for his son to study at an exclusive English university.

Mr Thuy remains a senior figure in the Vietnamese Government and chairs the National Committee for Financial Supervision.

Colonel Luong is believed to have used some of the commissions paid to him and CFTD by Securency to fund the education of Mr Thuy’s son. Bribery in Vietnam carries the death penalty.

Austrade deemed the partnership between Securency and Colonel Luong’s CFTD firm to be so successful that it presented them with a special export award in 2004.

In November 1999, Colonel Luong was invited to Australia as part of an Austrade seminar on the Vietnam market.

In August 2008, he was part of an Australia-Vietnam Joint Trade and Economic Cooperation Committee delegation months after Austrade’s commissioner in Vietnam warned of his links to the Ministry of Public Security.

Colonel Luong also attended several lunches and dinners hosted by the Australian embassy.

The AFP’s investigation into Securency and NPA remains ongoing and further charges against other former executives are expected.

Britain’s Serious Fraud Office is investigating Securency’s contracts in Nigeria, which involved nearly $20 million in payments to agents and offshore bank accounts.

Austrade declined to comment, citing the ongoing police investigation.

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