Former Pertamina CEO Karen Agustiawan Detained by KPK
Jakarta. The Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, on Tuesday detained Karen Agustiawan, the former chief executive officer of state-run oil company Pertamina, as a suspect in an ongoing graft investigation related to the company's procurement of liquefied natural gas (LNG) over the past decade.
KPK Chairman Firli Bahuri said Karen unilaterally signed an LNG purchase deal with the American company Corpus Christi Liquefaction (CCL) in 2012.
This contract was made "without prior analysis and the consent of Pertamina's board of commissioners," Firli said during a news conference in Jakarta.
Even the government, as the main shareholder, was not informed about this transaction. Due to an oversupply of LNG in the domestic market and a lack of demand at that time, Pertamina had to sell it in foreign markets at a loss, resulting in a financial loss of $140 million to the state, according to Firli.
This is not the first time Karen, who served in the company from 2009 to 2014, has faced legal issues related to Pertamina's business agreements with foreign firms.
On June 10, 2019, she was sentenced to eight years in prison for another corruption case investigated by the Attorney General's Office.
In that case, she was accused of misusing her authority to decide on acquiring a participating interest in Australian-based Basker Manta Gummy's oil fields in the Gippsland Basin in the Australian state of Victoria without prior feasibility studies or risk assessments.
Corruption charges were brought against Karen when it was discovered that Pertamina failed to earn financial benefits from the agreement after the oil block operator, Roc Oil Company, halted production in the fields on Aug. 20, 2010.
The Attorney General's Office argued that the deal was reached without the consent of the company's board of commissioners and resulted in significant financial losses to the state.
However, in March 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that Pertamina's failure to benefit from a 10 percent participating interest worth $31.5 million in the oil fields did not cause financial losses to the state, leading to Karen's acquittal.Tags: