Corruption Eradicator
Category: Cover Story By : Jeffrey Hutton Read : 321 Date : Friday, June 02, 2017 - 16:56:33




Ahmad Zamroni / Forbes Indonesia

Two years after a conflict with the national police helped jail its chief investigators and severely tested the support of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has regained its status as one of the most powerful agencies in the country, under the strong leadership of its current chairman, Agus Rahardjo. This year is shaping to be a big year for the KPK.

Its rising profile is shown in two major cases, one a new case, the other, a revival of an old one. The first one is the eKTP case, launched in March. The scope of the case is staggering, involving dozens of suspects, including politicians and bureaucrats, who engaged in a massive plot to steal as much as Rp 2.3 trillion budgeted for the country’s revamped national IDs. It is easily one of the largest and most complex cases ever pursued by the KPK, since it was founded in 2003.

The second case revives the five-year old probe surrounding corruption over the use of Bank Indonesia Liquidity Assistance (BLBI) funds given out during the Asian Financial crisis in 1998. “There will be turmoil,” said Agus, in a presentation to the Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club in March. The BLBI case has been aided by a decision in December by the Supreme Court that the KPK had the authority to go after companies for corruption and money laundering.

Of the two cases, the eKTP one may be more significant as it involves a relatively recent government program, while BLBI stems from events that happened two decades ago. In the eKTP case, the KPK in early March released a list of 38 names suspected of stealing almost half of the Rp 5.3 trillion set aside by parliament between 2010 and 2012 for a new version of the residential ID called kartu tanda penduduk (KTP), that all Indonesians from the age of 17 must carry. So far only two have been formally charged of embezzling the eKTP funds. More will follow. The KPK has said the list of suspects may double in the months ahead.

“The bigger the role, and the more money taken, the bigger the chance they will be made a suspect,” Agus says, adding that the agency is focusing on the small fry first before attempting to net bigger fish. “We will proceed with the indictments based on their roles, I just don’t know when that would happen.” Those bigger fish on the list may include Justice Minister Yasonna Laoly, former Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi, and house speaker Setya Novanto. All deny involvement. Setya resumed his speakership last year after quitting in December owing to suspicions that he had attempted to extort shares in the Indonesian operations of U.S. mining giant Freeport McMoRan.

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