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Banker who fled U.S. in ’98 is arrested at Honolulu meeting

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HONOLULU — The majority owner of the Bank of Honolulu was arrested at gunpoint in a surprise swoop by FBI agents Wednesday and indicted by a federal grand jury on a charge of bankruptcy fraud in connection with his $300 million bankruptcy case, law officials said.

Indonesian-born Sukamto Sia, 42, who fled the United States in 1998, was arrested by FBI agents at a creditors meeting that had brought the former developer back to Honolulu from his current home in Macao. Sia was later arraigned on the indictment and pleaded not guilty before a federal magistrate. A bail hearing was set for Thursday.

Sia's bankruptcy filing in November 1998 is considered one of the largest transactional personal bankruptcy cases on record. Sia, who bought the Bank of Honolulu in 1987, claimed debts of nearly $300 million and only $9.3 million in assets.