Indonesia to extradite 15 for hiding stolen money

Associated Press
08 May 07

Indonesia will seek the extradition of 15 business executives believed to be hiding millions of dollars in stolen state funds in Singapore.

In his first statement to reporters since being appointed on Tuesday, Attorney-General Hendarman Supanji said authorities had compiled a list of wanted suspects.

No names were released, but local media identified them as Indonesians of Chinese descent who owned commercial banks when the banking system collapsed nearly a decade ago.

An extradition treaty was signed last month with Singapore in an effort to help Indonesia recover billions of dollars stolen during the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, but it has not yet become law.

Indonesia has also signed similar pacts with Malaysia, the Philippines and Hong Kong, and is negotiating similar treaties with China and Canada.

Critics say the suspects can easily flee the country or transfer their funds elsewhere.

Many are said to have already changed nationalities.

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