Jakarta. Indonesia's Attorney General's Office named the mayor of Bengkulu, Helmi Hasan, a suspect on Wednesday for allegedly embezzling the Sumatran city's social aid fund.
Helmi was named a suspect for allegedly siphoning Rp 11.4 billion ($870,000) allocated to the social aid from the provincial budget in 2012 and 2013.
"It is true he [Helmi] has been named a suspect by the Bengkulu attorney's office," AGO spokesman Tony Spontana told Indonesian news portal Tribunnews.com on Wednesday.
The AGO also named Helmi's deputy, Patriana Sosialinda, a suspect in addition to a further five local officials, including the former regional council speaker, Sawaluddin Simbolon, and the current chairman of the provincial consultative council (DPD), Ahmad Kanedi.
The decision by the AGO to name Helmi a suspect illustrates the path the investigation has taken from the lower levels of Bengkulu's political corridors all the way to the mayor's office. Eight Bengkulu officials had previously been told they were suspected of corruption before Wednesday's announcement.
Bengkulu is the smallest province in Sumatra and the provincial capital is also relatively small, with a population around 330,000.