The Jakarta Post
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has named Sjamsul Nursalim and his wife Itjih Nursalim suspects in a graft case pertaining to irregularities surrounding the disbursement of Bank Indonesia Liquidity Support known as BLBI.
Sjamsul, the owner of Bank Dagang Negara Indonesia (BDNI), and his wife Itjih, were allegedly involved in the graft which caused Rp 4.58 trillion (US$321.52 million) in state losses, KPK deputy chairman Saut Situmorang said.
Saut said the new suspect naming was part of a new investigation related to the graft case against Syafruddin Tumenggung, the former chairman of the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA).
Syafrudin was declared guilty and sentenced to 13 years in prison by the Jakarta Corruption Court last year for manipulating BDNI’s credit status in 2004. The verdict was also upheld by the Jakarta High Court, which increased the sentence to 15 years in prison and a fine of Rp 1 billion earlier this year.
The new investigation revolved around the roles of Sjamsul and his wife Itjih, who was a stakeholder at the lender, he added.
The case dates back to the 1998 Asian financial crisis, when BDNI received Rp 28 trillion in BLBI funds, which were disbursed through the central bank to help them survive during the monetary crisis.
Rp 4.8 trillion of the funds received by BDNI was used for loans to farmers and fish farmers as allegedly instructed by Sjamsul as the bank owner.
“The Rp 4.8 trillion was presented by Sjamsul as receivables, but it was later found after Financial Due Dilligence (FDD) and Legal Due Dilligence (LDD) investigations that the asset was a non-performing loan,” another KPK deputy chairman Laode M. Syarif said at a press conference on Monday.
In 2007, PT Perusahaan Pengelola Asset had asked Sjamsul regarding debt collection rights for plasma farmers for about Rp 220 billion despite his debt of Rp 4.8 trillion owed to the government.
As Sjamsul and his wife reside in Singapore, the KPK had sent out a summons letter to the two suspects at three different addresses regarding the start of the investigation against them.
Laode also said the agency would maximize the cooperation with Singapore authorities for asset recovery.
“So that the embezzled money can return to the public through the state financial mechanism,” he said adding that Sjamsul and Itjuh must also fulfil their obligation to be questioned by investigators for the case.
The BLBI was liquidity support provided by the government through the central bank for 48 commercial banks totaling Rp 144.5 trillion to cope with massive runs during the monetary crisis in 1998. It was later found that 95 percent of the funds had been embezzled. (awa)