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AGO names Sriwijaya Air cofounder as PT Timah graft suspect

Jakarta Post - April 29, 2024

Jakarta – The Attorney General's Office (AGO) has named businessman Hendry Lie, a cofounder of low-cost airline Sriwijaya Air, as a suspect in a corruption case involving state-owned metal producer miner PT Timah.

Hendry, who is also a beneficiary owner of smelting company PT Tinindo Internusa (TIN), is alleged to have exploited the illegal mining activities at the center of the graft case, which is estimated to have incurred Rp 271 trillion (US$17 billion) in state losses.

His brother Fandy Lingga, a marketing official at TIN, also has been named as a suspect.

AGO spokesperson Ketut Sumedana confirmed that Hendry was among the latest suspects to be named in connection with the case. He added that the tycoon had been summoned for questioning, but was yet to respond.

"Yes, it's correct [that Hendry Lie is a suspect], but I haven't received the schedule [of his questioning]," he said on Sunday, as quoted by Kompas.com.

Authorities have suspended operations and seized five smelting plants in relation to the case, including a TIN smelter in Bangka-Belitung Islands that allegedly processed illegally mined tin from a Timah concession.

The two companies are suspected of receiving the tin ore through an illegal transaction with former Timah executives, including former president director Mochtar Riza Pahlevi Tabrani.

Following the AGO's seizure of the smelters last week, Timah's share price dropped on Friday to Rp 815, its lowest level to date.

Another smelter seized as part of the ongoing investigation belongs to PT Refined Bangka Tin (RBT), whose executive Harvey Moeis has been named as a suspect.

"The investigation team and the asset recovery center's team seized several smelters with a total area of 238,848 square meters, as well as heavy equipment," said Ketut.

The three other confiscated smelters are operated by CV Venus Inti Perkasa (VIP), PT Sariwiguna Bina Sentosa (SBS) and PT Stanindo Inti Perkasa (SIP), and have led to a mass layoff of hundreds of workers.

The AGO has acknowledged the case's potential fallout on the local community and the companies' workers, but it has made assurances that the impacts would be temporary.

"The seized assets will continue to be managed [operated] to provide business opportunities and jobs," said Amir Yanto, head of the AGO's asset recovery center.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2024/04/29/ago-names-sriwijaya-air-cofounder-as-pt-timah-graft-suspect.htm