DOJ indicts Indonesian bizman, 4 others for estafa

MANILA -- The Department of Justice (DOJ) ordered the filing of syndicated estafa charges against Indonesian businessman Shadik Wahono and four of his associates.

In a 21-page resolution dated June 18 and approved by Acting Prosecutor General Richard Fadullon, the DOJ found probable cause to indict Wahono, Dodik Marseno Catur Utomo, Sahra Mayor, and two Filipinos -- Alvin Bugtas and Joel Rayos -- for syndicated estafa before the Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court.

Wherefore, it is respectfully recommended that the attached information accusing respondents of committing the crime of Syndicated Estafa under Article 315, Paragraph 2(a), of the Revised Penal Code, in relation to Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1689, be approved for filing in court, read the resolution that was also signed by Assistant State Prosecutor Xerxes Garcia with the recommending approval of Officer-in-Charge Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Emilie Fe delos Santos.

The DOJ also recommended no bail for the accused.

The case stemmed from a complaint filed by San Miguel Corp.'s infrastructure arm, the San Miguel Holdings Corp. (SMHC), which filed a separate criminal complaint for syndicated estafa against Wahono and several others.

The complaint alleged that Wahono misrepresented that his company, PT Citra Lamtoro Gung Persada (CLGP), is the legal owner of Citra Central Expressway Corp. (CCEC) shares acquired by SMHC.

According to SMHC, CLGP cannot be the legal and beneficial owner of the shares since the subscription price was actually paid for by Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp. (CMMTC) funds, of which SMHC was also a beneficial owner at that time.

Instead of disclosing this, they allegedly remained silent and deliberately concealed their interest in DESTRA, Inc. during the CCEC's Annual Shareholders' Meeting.

SMHC, through its legal counsel, also revealed the alleged unauthorized disbursement of CMMTC funds, worth millions of pesos, of which both SMHC and Wahono at that time were major shareholders.

It was supposedly used by Wahono to incorporate CCEC, adding that the transfer of money was listed as a loan from CMMTC to Wahono's CLGP, for the incorporation of CCEC.

The complaint further alleged that Wahono entered into a separate partnership with SMHC for CCEC, to undertake the Skyway Stage 3 project.

In its resolution, the DOJ gave weight to the complainants' allegations that because the respondents defrauded CCEC that resulted in the misappropriation of money contributed by SMHC to CCEC.

And considering further that SMHC received funds from the public through San Miguel Corp., its funds may be said to be funds from the general public. Hence, PD 1689 (Syndicated Estafa) finds application in this case, the ruling stated. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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