Jakarta. The leader of an East Kalimantan district where the national government plans to build the new national capital was named corruption suspect on Thursday after he was arrested at a Jakarta mall for allegedly accepting bribes.
Abdul Gafur Mas’ud, the head of North Penajam Paser district, was arrested by investigators of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) during a raid in South Jakarta on Wednesday.
KPK Deputy Chairman Alexander Marwata said Abdul was put in custody along with 10 other people for preliminary investigation.
“We secured Rp 1 billion worth of banknotes, a bank account book with Rp 447 million in balance, and shopping items during the raid,” Alexander said at a news conference in Jakarta.
Five other people were also named suspects including district secretary Mulyadi, public works department head Edi Hasmoro, education department head Jusman, Democratic Party politician Nur Afifah Balqis, and businessman Achmad Zuhdi.
The KPK alleged that the district head, his subordinates, and the politician have accepted bribe money from Achmad, whose company was awarded a road construction project worth Rp 64 billion in North Penajam Paser.
Abdul is the second regional leader to be named corruption suspect by the KPK in the past week, following the arrest of Bekasi Mayor Rahmat Effendi.
Relocating the national capital from highly-congested Jakarta to East Kalimantan was the central theme in President Joko Widodo’s campaign prior to his reelection.
The president has published the blueprint of the new capital that will occupy a new area that traverses North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kartanegara districts in East Kalimantan, occupying a total area of around 180,000 hectares.
The capital relocation project is expected to cost the government around $33 billion, 19 percent of which is to be paid for by the state budget and the rest by local and foreign investors.
The president recently released the State Palace design for the new capital.