Leading Muslim fashion designer jailed in Indonesia fraud

March 22, 2019 0 By HearthstoneYarns

An Indonesian fashion designer who shot to
global fame with her Muslim-themed collection was sentenced to 18 years in
prison Wednesday for a multi-million dollar fraud and money-laundering.

A court near Jakarta convicted Anniesa Hasibuan, 31, and her husband
cheating customers who booked pilgrimage trips to Islam’s holiest city Mecca
through a travel agency they operated. The pair were accused of bilking
thousands of clients out of at least 848 billion rupiah (60 million USD), a
steep fall from grace for Hasibuan who had
become a household name in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country.

In 2016 Hasibuan’s collection was shown at New York Fashion Week where
her runway models wore hijab head scarves and Muslim-inspired designs, a
for the prestigious event.

Hasibuan and her husband Andika Surachman established Jakarta-based First
Travel in 2009 to operate trips to Saudi Arabia. But it had not sent any
clients to Mecca since early last year despite being paid for them, the

The court fined Hasibuan 10 billion rupiah and sentenced her spouse to 20
years in prison. He was slapped with the same fine. Prosecutors had
demanded 20-year prison terms for both.

“(The defendants) have been proven legally and convincingly guilty of
committing a criminal act together,” said presiding judge Sobandi, who like
many Indonesians goes by one name. Hasibuan’s works have also been featured
at shows in London, Istanbul and Cannes, but New York Fashion Week cemented
her status as a rising star in the fashion world.

She is also well-known for her lavish lifestyle, regularly posting
of herself and her husband travelling abroad and wearing expensive

Photo: Anniesa Hasibuan, AW17, Facebook