KPK to assist AGO’s investigation
in alleged Chevron graft

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) promises to help the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) in the latter’s investigation into a corruption case which has implicated PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia.

KPK deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto said on Thursday that the Commission will support the prosecutors in line with new memorandum of understanding that was signed by the two law enforcement agencies and the National Police. The agreement highlights ten sectors in Indonesia that are prone to fraudulent practices, one of which is the oil and gas sector.

“We will back up our colleagues from the AGO, using coordination mechanism based on today’s agreement,” Bambang told The Jakarta Post on the sidelines of the meeting at the AGO headquarters.

He added that the corruption cases in the oil and gas sector had been one of the Commission’s main concerns. Bambang claimed that in 2011, his agency saved Rp150 trillion (US$16.57 billion) of the state’s money in the oil and gas sector.

“It was more than 10 percent of our state’s budget (APBN) that year,” he said.

Separately, Junior Attorney General for Special Crimes Andhi Nirwanto welcomed the support, noting that the anti-graft body has promised them to help the investigation.

Pak Bambang has promised us that if the KPK investigators find anything related to the [Chevron case], they will present it to us,” Andhi told the Post, adding that his team constantly submited reports to the KPK about their case examination’s progress.

Investigation into the case, which involves the company’s bioremediation program from 2003 to 2011, started after the AGO received reports that the environmental project was fictitious.

The AGO accused the local branch of American energy giant Chevron of appointing incompetent companies, PT Green Planet Indonesia and PT Sumigita Jaya, to carry out the program. Both companies, according to the AGO, were not certified for waste treatment work. Therefore, the AGO considered the project to be fictitious and has claimed that it caused state losses amounting to Rp 200 billion.

Andhi explained that the money had been disbursed to Chevron by upstream oil and gas regulator BP Migas. However, he has yet to comment on whether there was negligence from the country’s regulator.

He confirmed that the Articles 2 and 3 of the 2001 Anti-Corruption Law would be used to investigate the case. Each article carries maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The AGO identified seven suspects in the case and barred them from leaving the country. Five out of seven suspects are Chevron executives. (asa)

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