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Jakarta Post

Funds for Makassar airport expansion frozen over graft suspicions

  • Andi Hajramurni

    The Jakarta Post

Makassar, South Sulawesi   /   Sun, October 9, 2016   /  11:15 am
Funds for Makassar airport expansion frozen over graft suspicions Under investigation -- The South Sulawesi Prosecutors' Office is looking into an alleged mark-up of cots for the clearing of land for the expansion of Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport in Makassar. (Courtesy of Angkasa Pura I/File)

The South Sulawesi Prosecutors’ Office has frozen Rp 8.7 billion (US$670,649.94) in funds allocated to the clearance of land for the expansion of Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport in Makassar, South Sulawesi.

The funds, belonging to state-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura I, were kept in an account with state-owned lender BRI in Maros, South Sulawesi.

South Sulawesi Prosecutors’ Office information and legal affairs head Salahuddin said the move was connected to the office’s investigation into a mark-up of costs for the airport area expansion.

“The marked-up funds of Rp 520 billion were allocated to clear 6o hectares of land. Of the total, Rp 8.7 billion was still kept in a bank account. That’s what we confiscated today,” Salahuddin said on Thursday. He said the funds would be kept at BRI but could not be used until there was a valid and legally binding court ruling on the case.

Salahuddin said the clearing of the 60 ha of land had been planned in 2011-2012, with Rp 188 billion allocated for the task. “When the land clearance was still in progress, the [earmarked] funds had swollen to Rp 300 billion and later to Rp 520 billion,” he said.

The allocation of funds increased twice, because in the 2014-2015 period, part of the land had been sold to third parties, even though the South Sulawesi administration had determined it as the location for the airport expansion in 2013. The case caused Rp 200 billion in losses to the state.

Salahuddin said South Sulawesi Prosecutors’ Office investigators had named four people suspects in the case. (ebf)

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