During a press conference in Denpasar yesterday, Bali Police Criminal Investigation Supt. Yuliar Kus Nugroho confirmed ex deputy governor Ketut Sudikerta as a suspect in cases of fraud, embezzlement and money laundering worth almost IDR150 billion (US$10.5 million).
The case has a history stretching back to 2013 when Alim Markus of Indonesian food production giant Maspion Group sought Sudikerta’s advice on land acquisition in Bali. Sudikerta, who ran in the gubernatorial race again this year alongside Rai Mantra, directed the business owner towards two plots of land in Jimbaran (38,000 sqm) and Balangan (3,300 sqm).
Problem was, one of the plots that Sudikerta directed Markus towards, had a temple and thus couldn’t be built on, while the second had allegedly been sold to Indonesian food production company PT Dua Kelinci.
“It just so happened that the SHM (land certificate) number 5048 was on the site of a temple while the other, SHM 16249, had been previously sold to PT Dua Kelinci, hence Sudikerta offered false information as a tool to cheat Maspion,” commented Nugroho in an article by Detik.
Oblivious to this vital information, Maspion deposited almost IDR150 billion to PT Pecatu Gemilang, a bank account opened by Sudikerta’s wife, Ida Ayu Ketut Sri Sumiantini, according to Nugroho. Police also found a flow of funds going into Sudikerta’s personal account.
So far, authorities have seized 26 documents in relation to the case, including fake land certificates, fake SHM letters, BCA bank statements, bank giro slips, and withdrawal receipts. Sudikerta is reported to have used the illegally acquired money to buy cars, land and other personal possessions. Several of his associates are also under investigation by regional police.
“We are still investigating this. It’s suspected that there was a flow of funds going to a number of friends of suspects, as well as those we initially interviewed,” said Nugroho to Antara News.
While the inquest continues, Bali police have prohibited Sudikerta from leaving the country.
Meanwhile Sudikerta’s legal advisor, Togar Situmorang, has said that the former public official accepts his status as a suspect, though they are yet to receive formal notification.
“We, as a legal team, have not received information from the police or an official letter regarding the decision to make my client an official suspect. With the Bali Criminal Investigation team suspects my client, we express our appreciation and hope that the suspicion is based on solid evidence and not other motives. If we receive an official letter, we will cooperate and will not eliminate any evidence that is subjective in nature,” said Togar to Detik.