Tuesday, July 14, 2009

KPK vs Police: Sampoerna's Money

Police called itself crocodile, equalled Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) with lizard. So, it is crocodile (buaya) versus lizard (cicak in Indonesian). At the heart of the recent "war" between these institutions is Budi Sampoerna's money at Bank Century. 
It all started with massive fraud at Bank Century, allegedly committed by the bank's former shareholders, including Robert Tantular who has been detained in the case. The bank collapsed, but the State is generous enough to bailout the bank in the name of preventing a bigger risk for the system (systemic risk).
How big is the systemic risk? Well, based on recent calculation, Deposit Insurance Institute (LPS) has injected over Rp6 trillion to keep Century in operation. Thousands of depositors will be at risk if government close down the bank, that's true. But the most affected from the closure would be Budi Sampoerna. Some reports pointed to Sampoerna's over US$200 million funds deposited in the bank.
Under the guarantee system, LPS could only cover deposits at the maximum of Rp1 billion per account. So, it's impossible for Sampoerna to recoup the money if government close down the bank. Sampoerna is known for "good relationship" with the ruling elites. Government decided to bailout the bank and had LPS injected significant amount of liquidity, including short-term facilities from central bank under the leadership of Boediono.
The bank survived, at least until now. The bank's management claimed various improvements. Still, it is not "easy" for depositors, including Budi Sampoerna, to get their money out of the bank. The first argument was to prevent liquidity crash, understandable. The second is police investigation on Tantular, Bank Century, and Antaboga Delta Securities. Police reportedly ordered Century not to release "major deposits", including Sampoerna's.
But in April, Sampoerna got "great news". Susno Duadji, National police chief of detectives wrote a letter to Century management in relation to Sampoerna's US$18 million funds. "In relation to US$18 million deposits of PT Lancar Sampoerna Bestari in Century, there is no more issues," Duadji wrote. Copy of the letter is published by Koran Tempo this morning.
Duadji referred to police investigation, examination on Robert Tantular and Boedi Sampoerna, plus discussions with Rudjito (head of commissioner council of LPS) and Maryono (CEO of Bank Century).
It is this letter that triggered rumors that the detective head got "compensation" of US$1 million for "releasing" the deposits. Duadji denied the allegation. He then complained about wiretapping by KPK. In a move seen as "retaliation", KPK investigates KPK deputy chairman Chandra Hamzah in relation to the case of suspended chief of the antigraft body, Antasari Azhar.
SBY as "father" of the "crocodile" invited a meeting with the "lizard" to end the rivalries. But others worry about "the peace deal" yesterday at the State Palace would only weaken anti-graft campaign.

Labels: , ,



Post a Comment

<< Home