Police searching for 2 Indonesians after Saudi princess reportedly lost US$37.5 million to property scammers in Bali

Gianyar, Bali. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Gianyar, Bali. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Indonesia’s National Police (Polri) are investigating a case of fraud and embezzlement following a report from Princess Lolowah bint Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, who allegedly fell victim to property scammers in Bali.

“It is estimated that she lost about IDR512 billion (US$37.5 million),” Ferdy Sambo, who heads the National Police’s general crime unit, said in a statement.

Ferdy explained that the princess’ legal team filed the report back in May 2019 against two Indonesians, who are identified by their initials as EMC and EAH. 

Princess Lolowah has reportedly paid more than IDR500 billion between April 2011 and September 2018, intended for the purchase of land and development of two resorts, namely Villa Kama and Amrita Tedja, in the Tampaksiring sub-district of Gianyar regency. 

However, the construction was still incomplete in 2018, and according to a public auditors service agency, the property value of the villas were less than what had been promised, Ferdy explained. 

Police said the ownership of both the land and property are still under EMC and EAH, who have been named suspects and are currently being pursued by authorities.

In addition, the suspects allegedly offered the princess 1,600 square meters of land in the Berawa area of Badung regency, for which she sent over US$500,000. 

“The victim sent US$500,000 to the suspects. However, it was confirmed that the land owner had no intention to sell,” Ferdy said. 

EMC and EAH are subject to charges under articles in the criminal code (KUHP) and the 2010 Law on the Prevention and Eradication of Money Laundering, the latter of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. 

“We are still carrying out our investigation and pursuing [the suspects]. The National Police must protect investors investing in Indonesia,” Ferdy added, as quoted by Detik.

Read more news and updates from Bali here.

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