Jakarta. Two high-ranking police officers were named suspects on Friday for allegedly accepting bribe from a graft fugitive in a major scandal that prompted the president to intervene.
Insp. Gen. Napoleon Bonarpate and Brig. Gen. Prasetijo Utomo are accused of accepting bribe from corruption convict Djoko Soegianto Tjandra allegedly in return for removing the convict from the Interpol wanted list and for illegally facilitating his return to Indonesia between May and June.
Djoko, who fled his conviction and two years’ imprisonment in 2009, was arrested in Kuala Lumpur with the help of Malaysian authorities on July 30. He is now facing new charges of bribing law enforcement officials and document forgery.
"The suspects in this case include D.S.T. who paid the bribe money and P.U. and N.B. as the recipients of the ill-gotten money,” National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Argo Yuwono said in a statement, indentifying the suspects by their initials.
Argo didn’t disclose the amount of the bribe money but said investigators had seized $20,000 in cash from the disgraced officers.
Other items listed as evidence are cellular phones, a laptop and footages from security camera.
Argo said investigators have questioned 19 witnesses and cyber crime experts to press criminal charges against their fellow officers.
Napoleon was a senior staff at the Interpol’s National Central Bureau in Jakarta when Djoko was removed from the wanted list in 2014. He last served as the head of the National Police’s International Relations and Transnational Crimes Division that oversees the NCB before being stripped off his duties during investigation into the scandal.
Police believe that Napoleon is responsible for clearing Djoko from the global alert system, paving way for the convict to get through the immigration checks when entering Indonesia in May and June.
Prasetijo was the first to be implicated with the scandal after it emerged that he provided documents that allowed Djoko to travel between cities in June despite an arrest warrant issued by prosecutors 11 years ago.
The scandal triggered outrage across the country upon reports that Djoko managed to register a legal motion to challenge his conviction, renew his ID card and obtain an Indonesian passport during his return without any slightest attempt by law enforcement agencies to arrest him.
As investigation began while Djoko was at large again last month, President Joko Widodo ordered National Police Chief Idham Azis to arrest the fugitive “wherever he is”.
The National Police formed a special team for the mission and conducted police-to-police cooperation with Malaysia to arrest and repatriate the convict.