East Kutai District Head Ismunandar, left, and his wife Encek Firgasih. (Photo courtesy of East Kutai Distrcit Government)

District Head and His Top Councillor Wife Arrested for Alleged Graft


JULY 03, 2020

Jakarta. The Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, arrested East Kutai District Head Ismunandar and his wife Encek Firgasih, the speaker of the district legislative council, in a high-profile graft bust at a Jakarta hotel on Thursday evening.

The agency also conducted separate operations in the East Kalimantan capital of Samarinda targeting other district officials.


"The arrests are related to alleged fraudulent procurement of goods and services by the East Kutai district government in East Kalimantan,” KPK spokesman Ali Fikri told reporters in Jakarta on Friday.

A total of seven people were arrested in the Thursday’s operations and they are currently being interrogated at the KPK headquarters in South Jakarta, he said.

KPK investigators seized cash during the raid, Ali said, adding more details would be made public once the initial investigation was concluded.

He said the head of a Regional Development Planning Agency (Bappeda) in the province was arrested along with Ismunandar at the Jakarta hotel, but the person's identity is yet to be revealed.

The KPK has 24 hours to determine the detainees as graft suspects.

The East Kutai couple came under spotlight last year when the wife, a politician with the United Development Party (PPP), was elected speaker of the legislative council.

It means that both executive and legislative branches of the district are under the command of the same family.

Ismunandar, a two-term district head and a member of the National Democratic Party (Nasdem), said at that time his election as district head and his wife’s promotion to the top legislative post were a result from democratic process.

The 59-year-old claimed they could work professionally and separate personal matters from their public duties.