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KPK detains 2 suspects in graft case that could implicate Muhaimin Iskandar

Jakarta Globe - January 25, 2024

Muhammad Aulia, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on Thursday detained two suspects in a graft scandal at the Manpower Ministry, a case that could implicate Muhaimin Iskandar, the current vice-presidential candidate.

The commission announced in a news conference in Jakarta that the case revolves around a fraudulent project for procuring an integrated database system for migrant worker protection at the ministry in 2012 when Muhaimin held the position of manpower minister.

The Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) recently released a report confirming financial losses in the project, prompting the KPK to arrest both suspects.

In its report, the BPK concluded that there were "misappropriations and criminal intent" by those involved in the procurement project, resulting in a financial loss of Rp 17.68 billion ($1.1 million) for the state. This stolen amount accounts for 88 percent of the project budget of Rp 20 billion.

KPK Deputy Chairman Alexander Marwata said in the news conference that the ongoing investigation is unrelated to the dynamics of the presidential election scheduled for February 14.

"We have requested an audit by the BPK for a long time, but the results were delivered only yesterday," Alexander said. "It's not like we abruptly reopened the case."

He said the investigation, initiated in 2019, faced challenges as investigators had to travel to Malaysia to collect evidence. The probe was later suspended for two years due to global travel restrictions imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic. In March last year, KPK investigators resumed the probe and declared a criminal investigation in mid-2023.

Muhaimin was officially announced as a running mate for presidential candidate Anies Baswedan on September 2.

"Rest assured that our investigation has no connections to the current political dynamics whatsoever," Alexander added.

The two suspects presented during the news conference are former Manpower Ministry officials identified as Reyna Usman and I Nyoman Darmanta. Reyna is also an executive of the National Awakening Party (PKB), of which Muhaimin is the chairman.

The KPK also identified a third suspect named Karunia, a businessman, who has not been detained yet.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/kpk-detains-2-suspects-in-graft-case-that-could-implicate-muhaimin-iskanda