Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and Southeast Sulawesi Police have teamed up to probe into the alleged corruption of village funds in Konawe regency.
"In this case, there are an alleged 34 problematic villages, comprising three fictitious villages [uninhabited villages] and 31 villages whose certificates of formation were backdated," KPK spokesman Febri Diansyah said in a written statement on Wednesday.
The perpetrator made backdated certificates for the new villages so they could receive village funds, as the villages were actually established after a moratorium on village fund distribution was issued by the Home Ministry, Febri said.
The case may have resulted in state and regional losses, from the village funds allocated to several villages in Konawe regency from 2016 until 2018, he added.
The police have raised the status of the case into an investigation. The antigraft body is supervising the process.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani previously said during a meeting with House of Representatives Commission XI overseeing financial affairs on Monday that the ministry had found that annual village funds were reportedly being paid to uninhabited "fictitious" villages. However, the perpetrator who set up the villages is still unknown.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said he would go after the perpetrators of village fund misallocation. "We will chase [the perpetrator] until they get caught," he said on Wednesday, Antara news agency reported.
The village funds program, which has provided between Rp 800 million (US$56,200) and Rp 1 billion to more than 70,000 villages across the archipelago, is a flagship policy of Jokowi's administration. (sau)