Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Tuesday named the director of the Home Affairs Ministry as a suspect in an investigation into corruption in the nation’s e-KTP (electronic identity) card program.
The Home Affairs director Sugiharto (Indonesians often use just one name) was in charge of the 2011-2012 tender for the nationwide identity card system.
The KPK said he would be charged with corruption for misusing funds appropriated for the program.
“There are two sufficient pieces of evidence which were… used to conclude that there was corruption in the procurement of the e-KTP,” KPK spokesman Johan Budi told the Jakarta Post.
With 240 million people, Indonesia is the biggest country in Southeast Asia.
In December, Argentina charged 17 people with corruption to help win a contract to produce national identity cards while Carlos Menem was president of Argentina in the late 1990s.
Indonesia’s former Democratic Party treasurer Muhammad Nazaruddin is currently serving a ten-month graft sentence.
He claimed through his lawyer last year that eight legislators had taken kickbacks of up to $1 million each to approve the budget for the Home Affairs Ministry’s e-KTP project.
“Among those on the list were Central Java governor Ganjar Pranowo, Golkar Party treasurer Setya Novanto, and lawmakers Melchias Marcus Mekeng and Mirwan Amir, who were said to have received $ 500,000 each,” the Jakarta Globe said.
Nazaruddin claimed the Home Affairs Ministry paid the bribes to gain approval for a budget inflated by 45% for the e-KTP project.
He said he was a middleman in rigging the tender.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.