‘Land-Scam’ Lawyer Arrested After Fleeing Interrogation
Police have arrested a Bali-based lawyer who fled interrogation over his alleged role in a Rp37.5 billion (US$4.3 million) land sale.
A fraud complaint was filed almost three years ago by a British man, Nick Hyam, 52, who bought the land.
Lawyer Rizaldy Watruty was being questioned by Bali Police last Friday when he managed to escape and flew to Jakarta. He was arrested there on Tuesday by Jakarta Police, and remains in detention in the capital, The Bali Times understands.
Police also arrested an associate of Watruty, Reinta Situmorang, last Friday, Ida Bagus Megeng of the criminal investigations section said.
A third alleged accomplice, Jeannette “Gina” Machura, a Canadian who helped Hyam broker the land deal, had been prevented from leaving Indonesia, Megeng said.
Machura, 46, is believed to be living in Bali.
The case dates back to 2005, when Hyam paid $4.3 million to purchase 2.86 hectares of land near the Echo Beach area of Canggu in North Kuta for a villa development.
Hyam claims a series of frauds were initiated by Waruty and Machura that saw him lose over $400,000. In addition, he claims, the land-title deeds were never given to him, and Situmorang, who owned the land, subsequently tried to sell the plot again.
In December 2009, Hyam succeeded in having Waruty banned from practicing for a year by the Indonesian Lawyers Association (Peradi) for unethical behaviour.Filed under: Headlines