The Attorney General's Office detained Hendrisman Rahim, center, Jiwasraya's former president director, on allegations of corruption on Tuesday. (Antara Photo/Dhemas Reviyanto)

AGO Names Suspects in Jiwasraya Corruption Investigation as Case Takes Political Turn

BY :YEREMIA SUKOYO, FANA SUPARMAN

JANUARY 15, 2020

Jakarta. The Attorney General's Office says corruption has left state-owned life insurer Asuransi Jiwasraya on the brink of bankruptcy and names five suspects in the case, including former executives and a prominent local investor. 

The AGO on Tuesday detained Benny Tjokrosaputro, the commissioner of Hanson International, for his alleged involvement in the insurer's crooked investments, which have caused losses of Rp 13.7 trillion ($1 billion) to the state.

Since Jiwasraya is a state-owned company, the losses automatically lead to a charge of corruption under the anti-corruption law. 

The AGO also detained Hendrisman Rahim, Jiwasraya's former president director; its former finance director Hary Prasetyo; former head of investment and finance Syahmirwan; and Heru Hidayat, the president commissioner of Trada Alam Minera, a mining company into which Jiwasraya poured and promptly lost hundreds of billions rupiah in investment. 

Attorney General S.T. Burhanuddin said his office had examined more than 5,000 transactions involving Jiwasraya in 2009-2018 and found enough evidence to charge the suspects with corruption. 

A preliminary forensic audit by the Supreme Audit Agency also found several misconducts in Jiwasraya's management and investment schemes.

"They violated the principle of prudence. Asuransi Jiwasraya made many investments in high-risk assets to pursue high returns," Burhanuddin.

The AGO said Benny is being detained at the Corruption Eradication Commission's (KPK) detention facility in South Jakarta. Heru and Hary are being kept in separate rooms at the Salemba Detention Center. Hendrisman is being detained at Pomdam Jaya, a military police detention facility in South Jakarta, and Syahmirwan at the Cipinang Detention Center.

Heru claimed to have told AGO investigators everything he knew about the "chaos" in Jiwasraya. He claimed to have been made a scapegoat by the other suspects in the case.

"I am the victim here," Heru said on Tuesday.

Benny's lawyer Muchtar Arifin said the charges against his client are unclear. Muchtar also said he did not see any urgency to have Benny detained. 

"The [investigators] did not explain the reason for rounding up the suspects. I don't understand what mistake [Benny] had committed. But he will now be detained for at least the next 20 days," Muchtar said.

Political Attention

The case has drawn the attention of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo who on Tuesday summoned top officials of political parties to brief them on the government's position. 

The top party leaders at the meeting were Megawati Soekarnoputri, the chairwoman of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), Surya Paloh of the National Democratic Party (Nasdem), Airlangga Hartarto of the Golkar Party, Muhaimin Iskandar of the National Awakening Party (PKB), Suharso Monoarfa of the United Indonesia Party (PPP) and Sufmi Dasco Ahmad, the secretary-general of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra).

National Police Chief General Idham Azis, Attorney General Burhanuddin, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani and State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir also attended the meeting. 

"The president wants a proper solution to this long-standing problem," said Communication and Information Technology Minister Johnny G. Plate, who also attended the meeting as Nasdem's secretary-general.

He said the meeting also discussed other urgent matters such as the relocation of Indonesia's capital and the omnibus law

Jokowi's spokesman Fadjroel Rachman said the president appreciated the steps the AGO has taken to enforce the law in the Jiwasraya case.

Jokowi also told his ministers to find a way for the insurer to fulfill its financial obligations to customers.

"The president told the SOE Minister and the Finance Minister to take whatever steps necessary to recover the customers' money," Fadjroel said on Wednesday.

Martin Manurung, a Nasdem politician and the deputy chairman of the House of Representatives' Commission VI overseeing trade and industry, SOEs, investments and co-operatives, said the House should establish a special committee to launch an inquiry into Jiwasraya.

 

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