Indonesia minister surrenders after being named in corruption case

Estimate Reading Time: < 1 minute

JAKARTA: Indonesia’s social affairs minister was arrested Sunday for allegedly taking US$1.2 million in bribes linked to food aid for those hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

-Advertisement-

Juliari Batubara was named as a suspect after Indonesian anti-corruption agents seized suitcases, backpacks and envelopes stuffed with cash equivalent to US$1.2 million in a sting operation on Saturday.

He turned himself in on Sunday at the anti-corruption agency’s headquarters, becoming the second minister in President Joko Widodo’s government to be arrested over alleged graft in recent weeks.

“That’s the people’s money … it’s aid urgently needed to help during Covid-19 and for the national economic recovery,” Widodo said after Batubara’s arrest, vowing he would not protect any corrupt officials.

Indonesia’s economy – Southeast Asia’s biggest – has been hit hard by the pandemic, and the government has rolled out aid programmes such as food packages to help those in need.

-Advertisement-

Batubara has been accused of involvement in a bribery scheme linked to one such aid project.

Officials have alleged that he received more than US$1 million from two contractors that were appointed to supply basic food packages for people affected by the pandemic.

For each package, Batubara would receive 10,000 rupiah, or US$0.71, officials alleged.

If found guilty, he could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of one billion rupiah (US$70,000).

-FMT

Share this Article
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share