APSN Banner

KPK prison guards extort inmates and collect Rp 6 billion

Jakarta Globe - March 15, 2024

Muhammad Aulia, Jakarta – The warden and guards at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK)'s detention facility have been found to have extorted inmates, accumulating at least Rp 6.3 billion ($402,000) between 2019 and 2023, an investigator disclosed on Friday.

This revelation follows the detention of 15 KPK employees and part-time security guards after a months-long investigation into the prison extortion scheme, which went undetected for years.The suspects stand accused of collecting money from inmates in exchange for various privileges, including access to telecommunication and charging devices, as well as providing advance notice of unscheduled inspections at the prison.

According to KPK Investigation Director Asep Guntur, the bribes ranged from Rp 300,000 to Rp 20 million ($19 – $1,279). Inmates who could not afford to pay faced punitive measures, including being locked out, having restricted outdoor exercise time, and increased cleaning duties.

The primary suspect has been identified as Achmad Fauzi, the warden of the KPK prison located in the commission's headquarters in Jakarta.

"He and his associates have amassed at least Rp 6.3 billion from 2019 to 2023," said Asep.

The shameful scandal prompted KPK Commissioner Nurul Ghufron to issue a public apology on behalf of the leadership board earlier in the day.

"We take full responsibility for this case and ensure that we implement a zero-tolerance policy towards corruption within our institution," Ghufron told reporters at his office in Jakarta.

The KPK was established in 2004 as an ad hoc law enforcement agency to combat corruption, designated as an "extraordinary crime" by the law, on par with terrorism and treason.

The commission possesses greater authority to wiretap potential high-profile suspects such as cabinet members, lawmakers, governors, and mayors, and receives a larger anti-corruption budget per case compared to prosecutors and police.

Initially designed as an independent body, with commissioners openly selected in public vetting and approved by the House of Representatives, the KPK law was amended in 2019 by the government and the House. This change made all KPK employees civil servants, based on the premise that the commission is fully funded by the state budget.

The amended law also mandates the establishment of an oversight body to monitor the conduct of all KPK employees and commissioners.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/kpk-prison-guards-extort-inmates-and-collect-rp-6-billio