Interpol gets in on divorce involving Indonesian business man allegedly suspected of transnational fraud
I was just reading Singapore Law Watch. Seems Interpol has put out a warrant for Indonesian businessman named Nurdian Cuaca. Cuaca is enmeshed in a nasty divorce and his beautiful though estranged wife suspects he’s hiding assets.
So Interpol has put out a red notice for his arrest, allegedly, to 188 countries.
His wife and her lawyers in Jakarta apparently feel he’s hiding millions of dollars in assets in foreign and local bank accounts. Seems there have been some suspicious withdrawals. He apparently told the court that he withdrew millions of dollars in a matter of days because it “belonged to his sister.” The court reportedly isn’t buying it.
A huge chunk of his holdings have been frozen pending the outcome of the divorced trial. But at the same time, his Jakarta attorneys deny the reports that Interpol has put out an international warrant for him. Here’s the story from Singapore Law Watch:
Legal News Archive
INDONESIAN businessman Nurdian Cuaca, who is at the centre of a divorce case, is on the Interpol wanted list for alleged fraud, but yesterday he denied any knowledge of a police probe against him in any country.
His name is on Interpol’s Red Notice alert, which means Interpol is seeking help from its 188-member countries’ police forces to keep a lookout for him, with a view to arresting and extraditing him. According to the notice, Mr Cuaca, 45, is wanted for alleged fraud by the Indonesian police.
Yesterday, he told The Straits Times through his lawyer, Mr Edmund Kronenburg, that he is ‘unaware of any valid basis for the Interpol Red Notice, which appears to have originated from a Jakarta source’.
Mr Cuaca said he learnt of the notice only when the lawyers of his estranged wife, socialite Jamie Chua, 36, wrote to inform him of it in November last year, in the course of their divorce proceedings.
Mr Kronenburg said that Mr Cuaca has so far not been contacted by any police authorities, whether in Singapore or Indonesia, in relation to the notice. He has been travelling freely in and out of Singapore and other countries since November.
‘As far as he knows, there are no police investigations against him in any jurisdiction,’ said Mr Kronenburg.
Mr Cuaca’s Jakarta-based lawyers are taking steps to have the notice withdrawn, as it was clearly put up without basis, and even possibly with malice, added Mr Kronenburg.
Ms Chua initiated the divorce in February last year after being married for over 15 years, citing unreasonable behaviour. He is opposing her divorce grounds and has countersued for divorce on his grounds.
Ms Chua is claiming $450,000 in interim monthly maintenance from him, in a case which lawyers say is shaping up to be one of the biggest sums involved in such a suit here.
Last November, Mr Cuaca failed in a bid to unfreeze $93 million worth of assets pending the outcome of the suit.
His assets include two houses in Sentosa Cove and in Hong Kong worth $14.6 million in total. Another $79.2 million was tagged to his shares in a private company, his wine collection and three luxury cars.
Ms Chua, a former Singapore Airlines air stewardess, is the managing director of the high-end Manolo Blahnik Singapore shoe boutiques in the Hilton Hotel and Marina Bay Sands.
Her lawyers Salem Ibrahim and Aishah Anwar had applied for an asset freeze and interim maintenance order because Mr Cuaca had reduced her monthly maintenance amount and cancelled her supplementary credit card.
They argued that Mr Cuaca had, among other things, transferred some $3.2 million in cash over two days in April last year from a bank here to Indonesia.
District Judge Wong Keen Onn said in his judgment that Mr Cuaca’s explanation that the monies were withdrawn because they belonged to his sister was not credible. Of Ms Chua’s claim for $450,000 interim maintenance, the judge said the claim ‘was supported by actual historical payments as evidenced by documentary records’.
It is understood that the future of the two Manolo Blahnik stores could be in question with the divorce suit.
Speaking to The Straits Times yesterday, Ms Chua said of the impending divorce: ‘I am sad this has come to such an end and I have faith in the courts.’
A pre-trial conference on the divorce suit is due in the Family Court today.