Former fisheries minister of Indonesia charged in bribery case

Published on
April 20, 2021

Indonesia’s anti-graft agency – the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) – has accused former fisheries minister Edhy Prabowo of taking bribes in a case involving issuance of lobster seeds exports, reported Tempo.

Prabowo was charged for receiving money from a number of companies in exchange for lobster larvae export permits.

He allegedly took USD 77,000 (EUR 64,100) from PT Dua Putra Perkasa Director Suharjito via the former minister’s special staff, Safri, and his personal secretary, Amiril Mukmin. He was also accused of accepting IDR 24.6 billion (USD 1.7 million, EUR 1.4 million) via his special staff, Andreau Misanta Pribadi; staff of the former minister’s wife, Amiril Mukminin, and PT Perishable Logistics Indonesia Commissioner Siswadhi Pranoto.

At an initial hearing in Jakarta Corruption Court on 15 April, KPK prosecutor Ronald Worotikan said Prabowo was charged for “participating in acts that should be viewed as a standalone act, which is a number of crimes.”

The former minister has violated Indonesia’s law No.31/1999 on eradicating acts of corruption, Tempo said.

Prabowo and other officials were detained at Indonesia’s Soekarno-Hatta airport on 25 November, 2020, as they were returning from a trip to the United States.

Current Indonesian Fisheries Minister Sakti Wahyu Trenggono was appointed in December 2020, replacing interim minister Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, who took over following Prabowo’s arrest.

In May 2020, Prabowo implemented a controversial rule allowing the resumption of lobster seed exports, reversing a 2016 ban imposed by his predecessor, Susi Pudjiastuti. Less than two months after the decision, his ministry awarded exports licenses to 31 companies out of the 100 that were seeking permits.

In early 2020, an investigation was initiated into possible ties between Prabowo and several local exporters of lobster larvae, finding that owners and senior officials of many of those companies are members of the Great Indonesia Movement Party, or the Gerindra – where Prabowo was and remains a senior member.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Reporting from Hanoi, Vietnam

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