Anti-Graft NGO Releases Purported Pics of Papua Governor at Casino Table

jakarta A group of anti-corruption activists on Sunday released damning images of Papua Governor Lukas Enembe allegedly playing table games at a foreign casino while law enforcement unsuccessfully tried to interrogate him in person after he was named as a bribery suspect two weeks ago.

Indonesia’s Anti-Corruption Association (MAKI) said the images, which appear to be screenshots from surveillance cameras, were taken at Malaysia’s gambling resort Genting Highland on July 20-21.

“The games of chance allegedly took place in VIP rooms in Genting Highland and we have these photos,” said MAKI chairman Boyamin Saiman in a video message.

He did not say how the NGO got hold of the photos.

Boyamin said that in addition to Genting Highland, the governor also played table games at Singapore’s Crockfords Hotel Sentosa and Manila’s Solaire Resort & Casino and Entertainment City.

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The activist urged law enforcement to investigate whether the governor used taxpayer money on his gambling habits.

“Aside from his alleged corruption, we need to know if he was gambling with his own money or someone else’s money. We must explain to the Papuan people that their leader is accused of corruption and he may have installed [the stolen money] for gambling,” Boyamin said.

Hundreds of Lukas supporters held a rally in the provincial capital Jayapura earlier this week to prevent the Anti-Corruption Commission (KPK) from arresting him.

Lukas has refused to surrender on medical grounds.

Boyamin claimed he had information about the governor’s foreign trips, most recently in August.

He said the governor traveled to Australia, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines between December 2021 and August 2022 to “probably play”.

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The Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK) said two weeks ago that Lukas, who has been in office since 2013, has made payments of around 55 million Singapore dollars, or $39 million, to overseas casinos since 2017.

The Money Laundering Authority has also frozen the governor’s bank accounts at KPK’s request.

Lukas is currently banned from traveling overseas after the KPK began investigating earlier this month.

Papua Governor Lukas Enembe.  (Antara photo)
Papua Governor Lukas Enembe. (Antara photo)

The two-time governor did not respond to MAKI’s statement, but his defense team does not deny or confirm the allegations regarding his gambling habits.

A lawyer for Lukas has said that the governor is a wealthy person and suggested he can do whatever he wants with his own money.

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“He’s a rich man. He has natural resources and gold. Why is there suspicion?” Lawyer Aloysius Renwarin said on September 20.

“For 20 years he has served his homeland, where the largest gold deposits in his district are located, in his birthplace,” Aloysius said.

Defense team leader Stefanus Roy Rening accused the government of launching a smear campaign with revelations about the governor’s lavish lifestyle, arguing that the gambling problem had nothing to do with the ongoing transplant investigation into his client.

“We don’t want to discuss anything beyond the investigation because we are defending the governor of Papua against an alleged bribery allegation,” Stefanus said.

“We cannot comment on other things that are not the subject of the ongoing investigation.”

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