State lost Rp 7t in Century

Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Tue, December 24 2013, 8:57 AM

Where’s the money?: Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) chairman Hadi Poernomo (left) hands over an audit report on alleged corruption in the Bank Century scandal to Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chairman Abraham Samad in Jakarta on Monday. JP/Wendra Ajistyatama

The Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) revealed on Monday that the state lost more than Rp 7 trillion (US$574 million) in the graft-ridden bailout of the former Bank Century.

The agency made the revelation as it handed over the audit report on the bailout to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

BPK chief Hadi Poernomo said the audit report had found several irregularities committed by a number of individuals and agencies who had a hand in the disbursement of the short-term assistance (FPJP) to Bank Century (now Bank Mutiara), as well as in the decision to name Century as a “failed” bank, which led to the disbursement of the temporary capital.

“The disbursement of FPJP from Bank Indonesia [BI] to Bank Century caused the state to lose Rp 689 billion. The amount is the total disbursement of FPJP given to Century in Nov. 14, 17 and 18, 2008,” Hadi told reporters in a press briefing at KPK headquarters on Monday.

Meanwhile, the decision to inject temporary capital into Century had caused state losses of Rp 6.76 trillion in 2009.

“The amount is the same as the total temporary capital injection, or bailout, given to Century by the Deposit Insurance Corporation [LPS] during the period of Nov. 24, 2008 to July 24, 2009,” Hadi said. The BPK chief, however, declined to provide more details from the audit report.

“Details of irregularities [in the bailout] are all written in the report that we will give to the KPK today. However, we can’t disclose more details as the case is being investigated by KPK investigators,” Hadi said.

The KPK has named two suspects in the case, former BI deputy governors Budi Mulya and Siti Chalimah Fadjrijah. Budi was arrested on allegations that he accepted Rp 1 billion from a Bank Century official before the bailout. He was detained in early November.

Hadi said that there were two legal issues in the Bank Century bailout. “The first is the disbursement of FPJP and the second is the bailout of Bank Century in 2008. They are two different ‘legal events’ that should be kept separate when looking into this case,” he said.

Commenting on the BPK audit, KPK chairman Abraham Samad said that KPK investigators would use the report as a basis for expediting their investigation and looking for further suspects. “We will not stop [at Budi and Siti]. We have no psychological barriers to naming other suspects in the case,” he added.

The arrest of Budi had fueled speculation that Vice President Boediono, who was BI governor and deputy head of the now-defunct Financial System Stability Committee (KSSK) when the government decided to disburse the Rp 6.76 trillion to Bank Century to avert a financial crisis, would also be charged soon on the grounds that the decision making in the central bank was collegial.

The KPK questioned Boediono for 10 hours on Nov. 23 at his office on his role in the Bank Century bailout. The Vice President has been accused of being culpable in the bailout, which many believe was unnecessary.

Boediono has defended the KSSK’s decision to disburse the FPJP to Bank Century as it was feared that its failure could lead to a collapse of the country’s banking system amid the height of the global financial crisis.

Boediono said he did nothing wrong by deciding that the government should save the ailing bank to prevent the country’s banking sector from suffering a systemic collapse, despite numerous critics, including former vice president Jusuf Kalla, saying otherwise.

Kalla said following his questioning by the KPK that Bank Century had been robbed by its owners and that it was unnecessary to salvage it.

He said that as acting president at the time, he was left in the dark about the full situation concerning the bank when then finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, who headed the KSSK, and Boediono had a meeting with him one day before the bailout decision was made.

Earlier this week, in an attempt to maintain pressure on Boediono, the House of Representatives decided to extend the term for the Bank Century bailout case monitoring team until Sept. 30 next year.


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