High-level Indonesian officials suspected of financial aid corruption

Bambang Eko Wahyudi, Danang Praptoko, Heri Soesanto, Tomie Herawanto, Dwi Rahayu, Suharsono, Siti Rochana, Ihwan, Heru Sukresna, Diah Ayu Kusuma, Romdhon, Dwi Hary Subagyo, Hanung Widya Sasangka, Alfi Nur Hidayat, Gustap Purwoko, Dicky Cobandono, Suparlan, Santiyono, Suparlan, and Rinaldi Rizal Sabirin.

The above high-level officials in districts and cities under the jurisdiction of the East Java Provincial Government are being investigated by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). They are suspected of siphoning off financial aid from the East Java Regional Revenue and Expenditure Budget (APBD) from 2015 to 2018, which were allocated for development of districts and cities.

KPK office. Photo credit: KPK

KPK spokesperson, Ali Fikri, told journalists the investigation was an extension of the corruption case involving Budi Setiawan, a former high-level official in the East Java Provincial Government, as the above officials are all implicated. Setiawan was involved in a IDR 10 billion (US$658,000) corruption case of the financial aid budget for Tulungagung Regency between 2015 to 2018.

A source within the East Java Provincial Government, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, told Maritime Fairtrade Budi Setiawan was involved in more than one cases as the allocation of financial aid, in whatever form and for whatever purpose, is prone to loopholes and there are potential for corruption.

“From the authorization and allocation of budget, corrupt officials usually asked for a five to 10 percent kickback of the total amount of financial aid, which can reach tens of billions of rupiah per district and city.  What is audacious is that the kickback is openly given in the officials’ offices.  It is no longer done in secret.  It is shameful!” said the source.

“Corruption has been declining in the last five to 10 years because of the KPK’s aggressive anti-corruption enforcement.  However, there will still be corrupt people like Budi Setiawan, who was lured by easy money and greed.”

With regard to the corruption case, the East Java Provincial Government sent Maritime Fairtrade a statement saying Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa will continue to take steps to prevent corruption, including outreach to families of officials to raise awareness of the evils of corruption.

Damaged road in Fisherman’s Village. Photo credit: Ibnu Wibowo

Eko Rohim, a resident of the Sidoarjo Fisherman’s Village, said he is angry at corrupt politicians who are taking away financial aid meant for the poor and for the development of their community.  If the politicians are clean, poor Indonesians will be able to lead a decent life.

Damaged road in Fisherman’s Village. Photo credit: Ibnu Wibowo

“In the Fisherman’s Village, many roads are damaged and the pier is in a poor condition.  They have not been repaired for many years.  Nobody is maintaining the roads and the pier.  Why do these corrupt politicians have the heart to take money away from the poor? Their salaries are already so high compared to what we earned. Why are they so greedy?” said Rohim.

Fisherman’s Village, Sidoarjo. Photo credit: Ibnu Wibowo

Iqbal Felesiano, criminal law researcher, Airlangga University, said the government should apply the Money Laundering Law (UU TPPU) to corruption cases to trace and retrieve hidden assets bought with dirty money. On the other hand, Wayan Titib Sulaksana, law researcher, Airlangga University, said the Attorney General’s office should seek life imprisonment or death penalty for convicted corruption pepertrators.

Fisherman’s Village, Sidoarjo. Photo credit: Ibnu Wibowo

Top photo credit: iStock/ KrakenPlaces

Ibnu Wibowo

Ibnu Wibowo

Ibnu Wibowo, Indonesia journalist, is a former political journalist with high dedication and determination to his craft. He is interested in writing about politics and international relations.

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