Asset Recovery Watch

ARW-186
Tommy Suharto (also known as Hutomo Mandala Putra)
Indonesia
Son of President (Mohamed Suharto, 1967-1998)
Guernsey
Undertaking Recovery Effort, Location of Recovery Effort, Asset Location / Alleged Asset Location
2002
Ongoing
Art.20, Art.23
Yes
Case in Investigatory/Asset Restraint Stage
Unknown
Cooperation in investigation but mechanism unknown
Ongoing Case, but the Guernsey court wrote that "The defendant [BNP Paribas (Suisse) S.A. bank] considered its duties under the provisions of the Criminal Justice (Proceeds of Crime) (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 1999 and disclosed its position to the Financial Intelligence Service ("FIS") of the States of Guernsey." (Source: Garnet Investments Investments Limited v. BNP Paribas (Suisse) S.A. and Government of Republic of Indonesia, Guernsey Law Reports 2007–08 GLR 73 (Royal Court), Judgment of May 23rd, 2007.
Ongoing
Investigation/Asset Tracing/Asset Restraint
$50,467,600 (EUR 37 million restrained, as of January 9, 2009, Guernsey Appeal Court decision)
Ongoing
N/A

As noted in the August 22, 2011 Media Release by Guernsey's Financial Investigative Unit, the Guernsey Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Chief of Customs and Excise, Immigration and Nationality Service which had appealed a lower court ruling in favour of Garnet Investments Ltd (Garnet), who had applied for judicial review of the Financial Intelligence Service’s (FIS) decision not to give consent for the bank BNP Paribas (BNP) to make payments, requested by Garnet from its account at the Bank. (Source: Guernsey Financial Investigation Unit Agency Media Release, "Judicial Review / THE CHIEF OFFICER CUSTOMS & EXCISE, IMMIGRATION & NATIONALITY SERVICE – (Now known as the Guernsey Border Agency - GBA) And GARNET INVESTMENTS, August 22, 2011.) According to a statement by the Government of Guernsey, "On Tuesday 20 November 2012, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council notified Garnet Investments Limited that it had refused its application to appeal the decision of the Guernsey Court of Appeal which had found in favour of the Chief Officer Customs & Excise, Immigration & Nationality. The Privy Council's written decision advised Garnet Investments Limited that its "application for permission to appeal had been considered by the Board and permission to appeal had been refused because the application does not raise an arguable point of law and the Board is not persuaded that the decision of the Court of Appeal is arguably wrong."" (Source: States of Guernsey, "Judicial Committee of the Privy Council refuses Garnet Investments Ltd application to appeal," January 4, 2013.)

Assets of Garnet Investments Limited, of which Mr. Suharto was identified as the beneficial owner, remain restrained in Guernsey. In 2002, the BNP Paribas (Suisse) Bank - Guernsey branch disclosed to the Guernsey financial intelligence unit that Tommy Suharto was the beneficial owner of the Garnet Investments Limited account and sought the FIS's consent to transfer the funds, as requested by Garnet Investments. The FIU denied consent and the Government of Indonesia was informed and given opportunity to join the proceedings between the Bank and Garnet Investments. The Guernsey court cited the lack of progress by Indonesia to institute proceedings against Suharto in Indonesia as jusitification for not extending the freeze of the funds but the FIU continued to deny consent to transfer the funds. (Source: Garnet Investments Limited v. BNP Paribas (Suisse) S.A. and Government of Indonesia, Guernsey Law Reports, 2007-08 GLR 73.) In late 2010, Suharto's defunct car company found liable to Ministry of Finance for tax evasion; Indonesia may attempt to recover the Guernsey funds again. (Source: Reuters, "Indonesia to keep assets of ex-president Suharto's son," July 16, 2010.)

According to the January 29, 2007 "Trade and Investment News" by The Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, "Tommy [Suharto], 44, was released from prison last October after serving five years of a 15-year sentence for ordering the murder of an Indonesian judge who had convicted him of corruption in connection with a land-scam case." (Source: The Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, Republic of Indonesia, "Trade and Investment News," January 29, 2007, accessed on the website of The Indonesian Consulate General Chicago," at http://www.indonesiachicago.org/economic-N012907.html)

Ministry of Justice and Human Rights
Financial Investigative Unit, Guernsey Border Agency
Royal Court; Court of Appeals