Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Indonesia: KPK raid trade minister’s office in bribery investigation

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Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigators were raiding the office of Trade Minister Enggartiasto “Enggar” Lukita on Monday in connection to a case of alleged bribery pertaining to shipping arrangements involving the country’s largest fertilizer company, PT Pupuk Indonesia Holding Company (PIHC).

“We are raiding the minister’s office as we need to follow up on and verify several pieces of information we obtained during the investigation of the suspect BSP,” KPK spokesperson Febri Diansyah said on Monday, referring to Golkar Party lawmaker Bowo Sidik Pangarso.

“Investigators have seized several documents related to the sugar trade,” he said, adding that the raid was still ongoing as of Monday afternoon.

Bowo allegedly accepted a total of Rp 8 billion (US$563,300) from several people, including private transportation company PT Humpuss Transportasi Kimia marketing manager Asty Winasty, a company that provides sea transportation for PT Pupuk Indonesia Logistik, a subsidiary of PIHC.

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Pupuk Indonesia Logistik, according to the KPK, had terminated its service agreement with Humpuss Transportasi Kimia. However, the transportation company wanted Pupuk Indonesia Logistik to use its services again.

Enggar was implicated in the case when Bowo reportedly told graft investigators that he accepted the equivalent of about Rp 2 billion in Singapore dollars from the trade minister. The bribe was allegedly given to the politician, who at that time served as the chairman of House of Representatives Commission VI overseeing trade and industry, in connection to a 2017 trade ministerial regulation on the trade of refined sugar.

Bowo’s lawyer Saut Edward Rajagukguk previously dismissed reports that his client admitted having accepted money from Enggar. “He only said ‘accepting money from a minister’, but didn’t mention his or her name.”

Separately, Enggar said he knew the KPK was raiding his office in Jakarta, but he denied the allegation that he bribed Bowo.

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