Sunday, June 24, 2007

More trouble for former Bulog head

Friday, June 15, 2007
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The former head of the State Logistics Agency, or Bulog, has been named a suspect in a third graft case, this one involving 2004 rice exports to Switzerland.

Widjanarko Puspoyo, already a suspect in two separate corruption cases, was named in this latest case by the Attorney General's Office following a preliminary investigation by a team of five prosecutors, led by Sugianto.

"The preliminary investigation found that Bulog exported 50,000 metric tons of rice to Switzerland in 2004," Attorney General's Office spokesman Salman Maryadi said Thursday during a media conference.

He said these exports are believed to have caused tens of trillions of rupiah in losses to the state.

The purchaser of the Indonesian rice was Geneva-based company Ascot Commodity, N.V.

"The rice was sold at an extremely cheap price, much lower than the domestic price," said Kemas Yahya Rahman, the secretary to the junior attorney general for special crimes.

Kemas said the Development Finance Comptroller was calculating alleged state losses from the imports.

Five high-level figures from Bulog have been summoned by the Attorney General's Office to appear Monday for questioning as witnesses.

Salman would only give the initials of three of the witnesses: BB, SA and HP.

On March 14, the attorney general named Widjanarko a suspect in a 2001 cattle import case that allegedly caused some Rp 11 billion in losses to the state.

The former Bulog head has been in detention since March 20 over this case.

Widjanarko and his brother, Widjokongko Puspoyo, who are both being detained at Cipinang Penitentiary in East Jakarta, were named suspects in another corruption case involving rice imports from Vietnam.

This case involves US$1.2 million allegedly transferred between 2002 and 2003 to a bank account belonging to Widjokongko.

Prosecutors allege the money was a bribe from a Vietnamese company awarded a contract by Bulog to supply rice to Indonesia.

The Bank Bukopin account has been frozen. Several accounts at three other banks have also been frozen.

An investigation team at the Attorney General's Office earlier found a total of $1.5 million was transferred from the Vietnam Southern Food Corporation -- the rice exporter -- via the Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City, to the account of PT Tugu Dana Utama, Bulog's partner in the Vietnamese rice procurement, at the Hong Kong office of HSBC Bank.

PT Tugu then allegedly transferred $1.2 million to Widjokongko's account at Bukopin.

A sum of money from this Bukopin account is then alleged to have been transferred to several accounts belonging to Widjanarko, his wife, Endang Ernawaty, and his children.

The Attorney General's Office has questioned Widjanarko's immediate family members over the case, including Endang Ernawaty, son Rinaldy, daughter Winda Nindiaty Djuanda and her husband Andre Djuanda. (02)

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