Indonesian politicians have been caught in all sorts of corruption scandals, but we can’t think of another so brazen as to use God himself as an alibi for their ill-gotten gains.
Yesterday, former director general of the Department of Sea Transportation (Hubla) Antonius Tonny Budiono faced questioning from Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigators regarding his alleged involvement in a bribery case. Late last month, the KPK carried out a bust against Antonius, during which they found 33 bags and suitcases containing money in the form of rupiah, US dollars, pound sterling, euros, and Malaysian ringgit amounting to more IDR20 billion (US$1.5 million). KPK officers needed about six hours to count all the money.
Following his questioning at the KPK yesterday, reporters noted that Antonius had a grin on his face. When asked where he obtained all the money from, he simply responded, as quoted by Kompas:
“The money came from God.”
Antonius didn’t seem to be in the mood to answer the reporters’ questions seriously, as he continued to dodge questions with jokes. For example, when reporters prodded about the questions KPK’s investigators asked him, Antonius responded with, “(I was) questioned about life after death.”
Antonius, who is currently detained by the KPK, is a graft suspect after he allegedly received bribe money from the private sector to help them with various construction projects. He has been extremely uncooperative in revealing to the authorities where the money came from in previous interrogations, claiming that he has “forgotten” the specifics. However, he hinted at the existence of a corrupt “mafia” inside the Transportation Ministry, but has not revealed their identities.