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Investment Minister Lahadalia reported for bribery, extortion over mining permits

CNN Indonesia - March 19, 2024

Jakarta – The Mining Advocacy Network (JATAM) reported Minister of Investment and head of the Investment Coordinating Agency (BKPM), Bahlil Lahadalia, to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) today, Tuesday March 19.

The report is related to the decision to revoke mining permits by Lahadalia that was allegedly ridden with corrupt practices, namely benefiting himself, certain groups and others, and allegedly harming the country's economy.

"This report is important in order to reveal what patterns are used by state officials, especially Minister Bahlil in relation to the process of revoking permits that have attracted a polemic", said JATAM Coordinator Melky Nahar at the KPK Red and White Building in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Lahadalia was reported for allegedly receiving gratifications, bribes and committing extortion related to revoking and reissuing mining permits in Indonesia.

Lahadalia has been given the authority and a mandate to do this by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo since 2021.

Widodo issued Presidential Decree (Keppres) Number 11/2021 on the Investment Acceleration Task Force in which Lahadalia was appointed as the head of the task force to ensure investment realisation and resolve licensing issues as well as tracking down unproductive mining and plantations permits.

In 2022, President Widodo signed Presidential Decree Number 1/2022 on the Land Use and Investment Arrangement Task Force.

Through this decree, Lahadalia was given the power to revoke mining permits, land use rights and forest area concessions, and made it possible to facilitate social organisations, cooperatives and the like to obtain land or concessions.

The culmination of this, said Nahar, was in October 2023 when then President Widodo issued Presidential Regulation Number 70/2023 on Land Allocation for Investment Arrangements.

Through this regulation, Lahadalia was given the authority to revoke mining permits, plantation and forest area concessions and could give land use permits to ormas (social or mass organisations), cooperatives and so on.

"JATAM suspects that President Jokowi's move, which give great authority to Bahlil such that he had the power to revoke thousands of mining permits that was actually ridden with corruption. The indications of corruption are strengthened by allegations that Minister Bahlil fixed the tariffs or fees for a number of companies that wanted their permits restored", said Nahar.

JATAM is asking the KPK to follow up on the report of alleged corruption involving Lahadalia.

"JATAM hopes and is urging the KPK to work quickly after this report has been made to connect the facts that have already been revealed to the public so that we can see the whole picture of the puzzle, so that we can see how depraved the alleged corruption was that happened, following this just who the parties were that gained benefits" he said.

KPK Deputy Chairperson Alexander Marwata has ordered the KPK Social Complaints Team (Dumas) to follow up on the report.

"The leadership has asked the Dumas to review the information which has been conveyed by the public", said Marwata when sought for confirmation via a written message.

Lahadalia meanwhile has declined to respond to the report submitted by JATAM. "I don't know, I don't know [about it] yet", Lahadalia said after making a complaint with the national police Criminal Investigations Directorate. (ryn/fra)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "JATAM Laporkan Bahlil Lahadalia ke KPK".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20240319190659-12-1076318/jatam-laporkan-bahlil-lahadalia-ke-kp