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KPK seizes Nasdem office in graft probe against Labuhanbatu regent

Jakarta Globe - May 2, 2024

Muhammad Aulia, Jakarta – An office building of the National Democratic Party (Nasdem) in Labuhanbatu regency, North Sumatra, has been demarcated by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) as part of the ongoing investigation against the local regent.

The KPK is investigating Regent Erik Adtrada Ritonga for allegedly taking bribes from the business community that sought to win local government projects.

"Based on the evidence obtained by investigators, the asset belongs to EAR who allowed a political party to make use of it," KPK spokesman Ali Fikri said in Jakarta on Thursday, naming the regent by initials.

Erik was also the head of the local chapter of Nasdem when he was arrested by the KPK in January.

The commission also seized a property in a different location in the regency.

"This property is worth around Rp 15 billion and was allegedly purchased with the illicit funds obtained by EAR and his accomplices," Ali said.

"Investigators have informed us that the land is being prepared to become a palm oil processing plant."

A week ago, the KPK seized Erik's luxury home in the North Sumatra capital of Medan.

Erik is a certified doctor who began his political career by running for a seat in the House of Representatives in 2014 representing the People's Conscience Party (Hanura).

He lost the election but won a mid-term appointment from the party to succeed a House member. In 2020, Erik won the regent election and changed affiliation to Nasdem after assuming office.

During his arrest in January, the KPK seized banknotes worth Rp 551.5 million from him and other suspects.

The KPK said the money was intended to fix the bidding for a local government project and was part of a total payment of Rp 1.7 billion to the regent.

Three other detainees were also designated as corruption suspects, including Rudi Syahputra, a member of the Labuhanbatu Legislative Council, and two businessmen identified as Fajar Syahputra and Effendi Syahputra.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/kpk-seizes-nasdem-office-in-graft-probe-against-labuhanbatu-regen