Sunday, May 30, 2010

Indonesian & Australian central banks scandal

The Coruption Eradication Commission (KPK) will start inquiry on allegation that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has given US$ 1.3 million in Bribe to senior officers of Bank Indonesia (BI) to win a note printing tender in 1999.

The Jakarta Globe (below) quoted KPK Deputy Chief M. Yassin as saying that  this inquiry is based on an undisclosed public complaint received on 25 May.

Considering that this case was disclosed by an Australian newspaper The Age 11 years after the bribery took place, I wonder whether there are any other unknown foul play between said central banks of both countries. Hmmmm .... I'll keep my fingers crossed.

KPK Begins Inquiry Into Bank Indonesia Australian Bribery Case

Armed with a public complaint, the Corruption Eradication Commission announced it would initiate an investigation into allegations that senior central bank officials had received $1.3 million in bribes over a banknote-printing tender with an Australian company in 1999.

Deputy Chairman Muhammad Jasin said on Friday that the complaint officially enabled the antigraft agency, also known as the KPK, to conduct the probe.

“Regarding allegations of bribery at Bank Indonesia, the KPK received a report that was registered at the KPK Directorate of Public Complaints on May 25,” Jasin said. “The report is now being examined by the public complaints team as we gather additional information.”

Jasin added that the commission would not disclose who filed the complaint or the contents of the report.

“We are also discussing the possibilities of collaborating with our Australian counterparts on the matter,” Jasin said.

The case surfaced after Melbourne-based newspaper The Age reported on Tuesday that two senior BI officials, identified only as Mr. S and Mr. M, had allegedly received bribes from Indonesian businessman Radius Christanto.

Radius reportedly paid $1.3 million in bribes to award the $50 million contracts to print 500 million Rp 100,000 banknotes to two Australian firms he was representing — Securency International and Note Printing Australia.

KPK spokesman Johan Budi said that the case was under the agency’s jurisdiction. “As long as it involves public officials and there had been a misappropriation of state funds, the KPK will investigate.”

Muhammad Assegaf, lawyer of former Bank Indonesia Governor Syahril Sabirin, confirmed that the alleged bribery occurred during his client’s tenure. “However Syahril was not aware of the bribery because he was not involved in the technical aspect of the procurement or tender process,” Assegaf said.

The central bank also pledged to conduct an internal investigation into the matter. Deputy Governor Budi Rochadi said four former BI officials directly linked to the tender had been questioned but refused to disclose names.

“The officials involved in the procurement had mostly retired but some are still active. We will question everyone from the staffers to the directorial levels,” he said, as quoted by state-run Antara news agency.

The Age reported that a confidential fax, sent from Christanto to the two firms on July 1, 1999, explicitly referred to large bribes to Bank Indonesia.

The paper added that Christanto’s correspondencewith the Australian firms also revealed collusion among BI officials, Chris­tanto and the firms’ executives to mark up the bids for the rupiah contract.

The Reserve Bank of Australia, the holding company of both firms said it took the matter “very seriously” and condemned corrupt behavior of any kind, but could not comment further given the ongoing Australian Federal Police investigation.

In a separate statement, Securency said it had referred the bribery allegations to Australian police after it became aware of them a year ago.


colson said...

On the positive side this belated inquiry shows white collar delinquents will never be safe.(As long as the KPK keeps doing it's job).

H. Nizam said...

Hi Colson,
Perhaps the right word would be :
"If KPK is allowed to do its job"

umihoney said...

This is pretty unusual coz normally banks don't subscribe to bribery.It's quite common among corporations or conglomerate. Would really wants to know the outcome of the investigation.

sentil said...

the truth will come can run but you can not hide

H. Nizam said...

Central banks are the top banking authorities therefore should never be involved in foul play including bribery.

Yes, let us hope the truth will be know soon.