The Jakarta Post
The Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) has been auditing the financial system authority and several state companies as part of its investigative audit on state-owned insurer PT Asuransi Jiwasraya following the Attorney General’s Office's (AGO) decision to name more suspects in the Jiwasraya corruption case.
Chairman Agung Firman Sampurna said on Monday the investigative audit had been extended beyond the previous audit and now included investigations into the Financial Services Authority (OJK), the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX), the State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Ministry and other state-owned companies linked to Jiwasraya.
“We’re encountering some difficulties in the audit [due to the COVID-19 pandemic], but we hope we can complete the audit by the end of this year,” he said.
Although the investigative audit was less likely to uncover additional losses from Jiwasraya’s investment mismanagement, the agency expressed hope that the result could reveal where the premium had gone to.
It also expected to create a systemic improvement to protect customers from potential fraud in the financial services industry in the future and to improve public trust in Indonesian assets.
Jiwasraya is accused of mismanagement and corruption when it invested most of its premium revenue from the JS Saving Plan, one of the company’s insurance products, in pumped-and-dumped stocks. As a result, it failed to pay out Rp 16 trillion (US$1.1 billion) in matured policies due in February to its policyholders.
The AGO on Thursday accused the 13 companies of mismanaging or laundering the premium revenue collected by Jiwasraya from 2014 to 2018. They allegedly caused Rp 12.35 trillion of state losses, or 73.46 percent of the total Rp 16.81 trillion in state losses as previously audited by the BPK.
It also named an OJK official, identified only as FH, a suspect in the case. He was suspected of abuse of power, which allegedly paved the way for Jiwasraya's investment mismanagement during FH’s tenure as OJK department head of capital market monitoring from 2014 to 2017.
Agung also said the agency was open to the possibility of pursuing further investigations into economic losses related to the Jiwasraya case in the future.
“If law enforcers link this case to something much bigger, there’s a possibility that we may also calculate the loss to the economy,” he said.
Agung on Monday also defended the agency’s audit on Jiwasraya and denied an accusation that he, the BPK vice chairman and the agency were protecting certain parties in the audit.
“According to the audit procedure, law enforcers will have to submit a request to the BPK to calculate the amount of state losses [from this case],” Agung told the press in Jakarta. “With this logic, it would be silly to accuse the BPK, its chairman and vice chairman of protecting certain parties.”
The statement came after Benny Tjokrosaputro, the defendant in the corruption case, accused the agency of protecting conglomerate Bakrie group in the Jiwasraya case.
“The BPK chairman and vice chairman are covering up [Bakrie group’s involvement and] they are definitely Bakrie’s cronies,” Benny said before attending a hearing at the Central Jakarta District Court last Wednesday, as reported by tempo.co.
Benny also called on the AGO to uncover Bakrie group’s involvement in the stock pump-and-dump scheme, which caused Jiwasraya to book losses since 2006, Kompas reported last Friday.
The insurer was known to have invested in two of the group's publicly listed entities, property developer PT Bakrieland Development and investment company PT Bakrie & Brothers. Both stocks have been priced at Rp 50 apiece since 2018.
However, Jiwasraya president director Hexana Tri Sasongko said the insurer had long sold the stocks before he was appointed as the president director in May 2018.
Due to the accusation, Agung said the BPK planned to report Benny to the National Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) for defamation.