Jakarta – A district head in North Sumatra was detained by the Corruption Eradication Commission or KPK late Wednesday for allegedly taking bribes in yet another major graft bust targeting crooked regional leaders.
Terbit Rencana Perangin Angin, the head of Langkat District, arrived at the KPK building in South Jakarta escorted by investigators and security personnel just before midnight.
KPK Deputy Chairman Nurul Ghufron said the district head has allegedly intended to take Rp 786 million in bribe money from a businessman who won projects from the local government.
Nurul said a KPK team conducted an operation in Langkat on Tuesday to follow a tipoff on suspected bribery and arrested four businessmen gathering at a cafe.
One of them is identified as Muara Perangin Angin who withdrew the money from several banks prior to the gathering. Muara, who has no family ties with Terbit, has won several infrastructure projects worth Rp 4.3 billion from the district government, Nurul said.
Muara allegedly attempted to channel the banknotes to the district head via his three colleagues identified as Marcos Surya Abdi, Shuhanda Citra, and Isfi Syahfitra who acted as middlemen.
The KPK team then moved to the district head's residence but he couldn't be found.
"When the team arrived at the scene, they received information that TRP and his brother had fled in an apparent attempt to evade the arrest," Nurul said in a news conference early on Thursday, referring to Terbit by initials.
Terbit and his older brother, Iskandar took refuge in the police office in neighboring Binjai, Nurul said. The brother allegedly is the district head's most trusted aide in dealing with the local business community.
KPK investigators came to the police office to interrogate and arrest Terbit on Wednesday afternoon before he was flown to Jakarta.
The district head, his brother, and the four businessmen were named corruption suspects after preliminary investigation, he added.
Terbit is one of the richest regional leaders in the country with a personal wealth of Rp 85 billion according to his public disclosure.
He is the third regional leader to be arrested by the powerful commission in just two weeks, following the arrest of Bekasi Mayor Rahmat Effendi and North Penajam Paser District Head Abdul Gafur Mas'ud.
They are charged with accepting bribes from businessmen who won projects from the local government.