Indonesian police are investigating allegations that a flow of illicit funds had allowed fugitive Djoko Tjandra (photo, above), who was arrested in Kuala Lumpur last Thursday, to evade authorities for 11 years after being convicted of corruption.
Malaysian police have been tight-lipped over details of Djoko's arrest, although Indonesian police have reportedly described it as a "planned operation" in cooperation with Malaysian police since last month.
The 68-year-old was reportedly handed over by Malaysian police, late last Thursday night to their counterparts and flown back to Jakarta in a chartered private jet from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang Jaya.
English daily The Jakarta Post reported that Djoko was questioned at the headquarters of the National Police’s Criminal Investigation Agency (Bareskrim) and is currently detained at a police facility in Salemba, Central Jakarta.
"We will proceed with our investigation related to the issuance of travel recommendation letters and… the alleged flow of illicit funds (pertaining to his flight)," Bareskrim chief Listry Sigit Prabowo reportedly said during a televised press briefing.
According to The Jakarta Post, Bareskrim's Civil Servant Investigator Supervisory and Coordination Bureau head Prasetyo Utomo has been named as a suspect by the police for allegedly issuing forged travel letters for Djoko.
"We could look into additional alleged bribery surrounding the case if he were to open up," Listry Sigit reportedly said.
The Indonesian newspaper also quoted Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) acting spokesperson Ali Fikri, who said the anti-graft body had offered assistance to track the flow of funds in the case.
"We have communicated and coordinated with Bareskrim through our deputy (head) of prevention," Ali was quoted as saying.
Djoko fled Indonesia in 2009
Djoko fled Indonesia and went to Papua New Guinea in 2009, a day before the Supreme Court sentenced him to two years in prison and a fine of Rupiah 15 million for conviction in the Bank Bali corruption case.
He first made headlines in Malaysia in 2015 over links to the 1MDB's Signature Tower in the Tun Razak Exchange by Indonesia's Mulia Group and its local subsidiary, under control of his brother, Eka Tjandranegara, as its president-director and owner.
At that time, responding to queries raised on Djoko's Interpol red notice alert for being wanted by Indonesian judicial authorities, Mulia Group said Djoko no longer held any position or shares within the group.
Indonesia's former attorney-general, HM Prasetyo (above), previously claimed that the then Malaysian attorney-general, Apandi Ali, had in 2016 made a personal request for him to consider dropping Djoko's conviction and allowing the tycoon to return as a free man.
Since then, Djoko's reported return to Indonesia in June this year, apparently undetected by the local authorities, had raised fresh allegations of corruption and a renewed probe, which so far implicated three high-ranking police generals.
All three were reportedly removed from their positions for alleged facilitation of Djoko’s domestic travels.
Djoko had attempted to file a request for a review of his 2009 conviction, after having reportedly obtained a new electronic ID card, passport and having his Interpol red notice status lifted.
He is believed to have travelled back to Kuala Lumpur and his arrest there followed a South Jakarta court rejection of his review application, over Djoko's failure to be present in person in court, as required by Indonesian law.