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Former National Search and Rescue Agency chief admits taking bribes, says it's common practice in agency

Jakarta Post - November 8, 2023

Jakarta – Former head of the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), Air Marshal Henri Alfiandi, admitted to receiving money from companies participating in the agency's goods and services procurement projects., uring a trial at the Jakarta Corruption Court on Monday, Henri claimed he was following a common practice in Basarnas.

He admitted to receiving the bribes through the agency's former administrative coordinator, Lt. Col. Afri Budi Cahyanto.

Afri and Henri referred to the bribes as "non-budgetary funds" or "command funds". Henri said Afri received the funds from three companies before handing them to Henri.

When the prosecutor questioned the source of the funds, Henri replied, "From work, Pak, as was [the practice in Basarnas], when the budget manager was assigned to Afri. I asked for [the budget] to be recorded properly, not just when he received it," Henri said.

"[The record] had to be transparent and documented properly so that I could easily control how much we needed. That way, we didn't need to ask for more [money]."

Henri argued that such a "command fund" was necessary to fund the agency's additional activities that were not covered in its official budget.

During the cross-examination, the prosecutor inquired how Henri determined the percentage taken for the command fund.

The former Basarnas chief said 10 percent of the total contract value before value-added tax (VAT) was taken.

In the trial, the prosecutor questioned whether the percentage had been increased from the initial value. Henri said the percentage had been the same value. Henri admitted that the practice had been going on for a long time.

Henri Alfiandi is a witness in the bribery cases of three defendants, PT Kindah Abadi Utama director Roni Aidil, PT Multi Grafika Cipta Sejati commissioner Mulsunadi Gunawan and PT Intertekno Grafika Sejati director Marilya.

The prosecutors charged Roni with bribing Henri with Rp 9.9 billion (US$635,307.75). Meanwhile, Mulsunadi and Marilya were charged with bribing Henri Rp 2.4 billion, respectively.

During the trial, prosecutors revealed that the investigation was in connection to four procurement projects at Basarnas.

These projects were helicopter hoists, public safety diving equipment and modification work on remotely operated vehicle (ROV) system capabilities in 2021 and another procurement project for public safety diving equipment in 2023.

Source: https://asianews.network/former-national-search-and-rescue-agency-chief-admits-taking-bribes-says-its-common-practice-in-agency