Regent of North Lampung arrested by KPK, Accused of years of kickbacks

65
The Corruption Eradication Commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi – “KPK”) arrests the Regent of North Lampung Agung Ilmu Mangkunegara in its sting operation on Sunday (06/10/2019) night. (photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Lampung – Regent of North Lampung Agung Ilmu Mangkunegara was arrested in a Corruption Eradication Commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi – “KPK”) sting operation on Sunday (06/10/2019) night. When they concluded their investigations, KPK then publicly named him as a suspect in a bribery case. He is suspected to have received bribes relating to projects in the Trade Office and the General Works and Public Housing (Pekerjaan Umum dan Perumahan Rakyat – “PUPR”) Office North Lampung for a total of IDR 1.2 billion. 

Other than Agung, KPK arrested five others: three of Agung’s trusted minions, i.e. Raden Syahril; Head of the PUPR Office of the Regency of North Lampung, Syahbuddin; and Head of the Trade Office of the Regency of North Lampung, Wan Hendri; two private businessmen, Chandra Safari and Hendra Wijaya Saleh were taken into custody as well. 

KPK Vice Chairwoman Basaria Panjaitan states that KPK would tirelessly remind all regional heads to perform all processes properly and with integrity. She further states that dirty practices such as corruption in procurement will seriously damage efforts of development. “KPK reminds all other regional heads throughout Indonesia not to worry about making any decision, as long as it is the right decision under the circumstances, complying with applicable rules and regulations, and is not connected to bribery, illegitimate fees, or anything similar,” she announced in a press conference held in KPK Building, Jakarta, on Monday (07/10/2019). 

Basaria announced that the bribery money originates from projects at the Trade Office and PUPR Office. “We suspect that the gifting of monies to Agung through the Trade Office was made by (Hendra Wijaya Saleh to Wan Hendri through Raden Syahril,” she said. “Hendra gave IDR 300 million to Wan Hendri, who then gave IDR 240 million to Syahril. Hendri is still keeping the IDR 60 million.” 

In the sting operation, KPK discovered proof that IDR 200 million was passed to Agung. The money was then secured out of the Regent’s room. This amount is likely related to three projects at the Trade Office, i.e. the construction of a traditional market in Comook Sinar Jaya Village, Muara Sungkai District, at IDR 1.073 billion; the construction of a traditional market in Karangsari Village, Muara Sungkai District, at IDR 1.3 billion, and the physical construction for tata karya (Dana Alokasi Khusus – “DAK”) at IDR 3.6 billion. KPK also discovered a total of IDR 440 million in Raden Syahril’s home and car relating to projects at the PUPR Office. 

KPK’s sting operation exposed Agung Ilmu Mangkunegara’s “games” since he was appointed as the Regent of North Lampung in 2014. “In 2014, before Syahbuddin became the Head of the PUPR Office of North Lampung, Agung, as the newly appointed Regent stated that in order to obtain the position, he had to promise a fee of 20%-25% of the projects executed by PUPR Office,” Basaria said. 

Chandra Safari, one of the “outside partners”, has performed at least 10 projects in the Regency of North Lampung from 2017 to 2019. For this chance, Chandra must pay “commission fees” to Agung through Syahbuddin and Syahril. Agung is accused of having received money for granting project appointments at the PUPR Office several times: He received IDR 600 million in July 2019, and then another IDR 50 million at the end of September. Finally, on 6 October, he received IDR 350 million. “It is likely that the monies received in September and October 2019 were the ones discovered at Syahril’s house. The monies were originally planned for any need Agung may have at any time,” Basaria said. 

In this case, Agung, Syahril, Syahbuddin, and Wan Hendri are accused as bribe-takers, while Chandra and Hendra are accused as bribers. If convicted of their crimes, Agung and Syahril will be prosecuted for violating the provisions of Article 12 a or b, or Article 11, of the Corruption Crime Law in conjunction with Article 55 Paragraph (1).1 of the Criminal Code in conjunction with Article 65 Paragraph (1) Criminal Code. Syahbuddin and Wan Hendri will be prosecuted for violating the provisions of Article 12 a or b, or Article 11, of Corruption Crime Law in conjunction with Article 55 Paragraph (1).1 of the Criminal Code. As bribers, Chandra and Hendra will be prosecuted for violating the provisions of Article 5 Paragraph 1 a or b, or Article 13, of Corruption Crime Law in conjunction with Article 55 Paragraph (1).1 of the Criminal Code. 

The six people arrested during KPK’s sting operation have now been in custody for 20 days. “Yes, they are being held for the first 20 days,” said KPK Spokesman Febri Diansyah. He further stated that Agung is being held at the Jaya Guntur Precinct Detention Center, while Raden Syahril is placed in the Central Jakarta Metro Precinct Detention Center. “Chandra and Hendra are being held in the Metro Jaya Regional Precinct, while Syahbuddin and Wan Hendri are being held in the East Jakarta Metro Police,” he said. 

Agung is a native of Kotabumi, North Lampung. He was born on 17 August 1982. He is a son of a former Tamanuri, the former Regent of Way Kanan. Before being elected Regent, Agung held the post of District Head of Tanjung Senang, Town of Bandar Lampung. He then entered the Government as the Sub-district Secretary of Blambangan Umpu, Regency of Way Kanan, Lampung. 

Agung has been the Regent of North Lampung for the second term. He was first elected for the 2014-2019 term, and he was re-elected for the 2019-2024 term. Agung was paired with the Head of the Regional Finance and Asset Management Agency at the time, Budi Utomo, with the support of the coalition of National Democrat Party, Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party, National Mandate Party (PAN), and Prosperous Justice Party (PKS). He and Budi gained 162,426 votes, or 50.85%, defeating two other candidate pairs. 

Agung Ilmu Mangkunegara’s total assets are calculated at IDR 2.3 billion. He has many moveable and fixed assets, including four lots of land and buildings in Bandar Lampung with a total value of IDR 1.1 billion, a 2017 Toyota Fortuner valued at IDR 450 million, a 2010 Toyota Avanza valued at IDR 100 million, and a Yamaha Mio Soul motorcycle at IDR 7 million. The total value of his transportation assets is IDR 557 million. Furthermore, Agung is recorded to have IDR 307,500,000.00 in other moveable assets and cash and cash equal assets at IDR 400,715,981.00. 

Agung was the Chairman of National Democrat Party’s Regional Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Daerah – “DPD”) of North Lampung. However, he resigned immediately after his arrest by KPK in order to allow himself to focus on the legal aspects of his case. “Agung Ilmu Mangkunegara’s statement of resignation was submitted to us by his family, as he is not allowed to contact anyone outside yet,” said Chairman of National Democrat’s Central Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Pusat – “DPP”), Taufik Basari, to the press on Monday (07/10/2019). “He resigned in order to be able to concentrate on resolving his legal issues.” 

The National Democrat party respects all legal processes that are executed based on the principle of justice. It also states its support towards all efforts to prevent and eradicate corruption. “In terms of corruption cases, the National Democrat party firmly stipulates that there are only two options available for any party cadres involved in corruption cases, i.e. to be terminated or to resign,” Taufik said. 

Agung’s arrest in a sting operation has increased the number of regional heads arrested by the KPK. KPK’s record includes 114 regional heads arrested from 2004 to July 2019, i.e. 17 governors, 74 regents, and 23 mayors. Most of these arrests are made in relation with bribery or kickbacks, budget abuse, and violation of regulations when procuring goods or services. (dsy)