Fortune shines on ex-first family

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 May, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 May, 2006, 12:00am

Nobody knows the exact extent of the Suharto family fortune, but it is clear the former dictator amassed riches well above the US$600 million for which he was charged.

According to a Time magazine investigation, during Suharto's 32-year regime from 1966 to 1998, the Cendana - as the family is collectively known - gained money and assets worth US$73.24 billion. Most was lost to bad investments and the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Yet the family is believed to still own assets worth US$15 billion. The Cendana has interests in at least 560 firms in Indonesia and hundreds more worldwide. It owns 3.6 million hectares of real estate in Indonesia and hundreds of properties overseas.

Suharto has always denied amassing an illegal fortune. The former dictator - who earned the equivalent of US$1,764 a month when he left office - claims to own only 19 hectares of land in Indonesia and US$2.4 million in savings.




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