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Former Indonesian Agriculture Minister under investigation for suspicious financial transactions

Former Indonesian Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo is under investigation for suspicious financial transactions totaling billions, leading to his resignation amidst corruption allegations.

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INDONESIA: The Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK) has uncovered suspicious financial transactions in the banking activities of former Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo.

According to PPATK’s findings, transactions involving Syahrul Yasin Limpo’s accounts have reached hundreds of billions of rupiah, with many of the deposits being made in cash.

Funds flowing into his accounts are said to frequently pass through numerous nominees, including aides, personal assistants, ministry staff, third parties, and others.

Confirming these findings, PPATK Head Ivan Yustiavandana stated to Liputan6 on Sunday (8 Oct), “It can continue to grow,” adding that the reported billion-rupiah transactions have been handed over to the appropriate authorities.

“We have already submitted everything to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK),” he emphasized.

Syahrul Yasin Limpo. (Photo: Liputan6.com)

The Minister’s million dollar wealth

In total assets, based on the State Officials’ Wealth Report (LHKPN) data from the KPK, Syahrul Yasin Limpo’s wealth amounted to approximately Rp 20.05 billion (approximately US$1.28 million) as of December 31, 2022.

This wealth comprises Rp 11.31 billion (US$722,358) in real estate, Rp 1.47 billion (US$93,887) in transportation and machinery, Rp 1.1 billion (US$70,255) in other movable assets, and Rp 6.1 billion (US$389,403) in cash and cash equivalents.

Notably, there were no recorded debts in Syahrul Yasin Limpo’s LHKPN report.

Syahrul Yasin Limpo, a politician from the National Democratic Party (NasDem), is currently a suspect in a corruption case being handled by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

He is alleged to have received bribes or gratuities related to promotions and job transfers within the Ministry of Agriculture, some of which are believed to have been facilitated through subordinates of the Ministry’s Secretary-General.

In response to the issuance of an investigation order against Syahrul Yasin Limpo, the KPK’s Task Force for Enforcement conducted searches at several locations, on 28 September 2023.

The initial target was Syahrul Yasin Limpo’s official residence, where investigators found envelopes containing billions of rupiah in cash, 12 firearms, and other documents.

KPK subsequently conducted searches at the Ministry of Agriculture, including Syahrul Yasin Limpo’s office and various other rooms. The Secretary-General’s residence at the Ministry of Agriculture was also searched by investigators.

Following the KPK’s investigation into his alleged involvement in corruption cases, Syahrul Yasin Limpo announced his resignation from the position of Indonesian Agriculture Minister.

Several foreign media outlets have covered his resignation, including Singapore’s The Straits Times, which reported that Syahrul submitted his resignation letter to President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) amid KPK’s investigation.

“His resignation comes after the agency, known as the KPK, declared it was investigating Syahrul Yasin Limpo, a cabinet minister, for alleged corruption,” wrote The Straits Times on Thursday (5 Oct).

Another Singaporean newspaper, The Business Times, also reported that Syahrul was arrested after the KPK found billions of rupiah in cash during raids on the Ministry of Agriculture and his residence.

“The KPK has not provided detailed information on the case involving Syahrul. Syahrul told reporters that he had submitted his resignation letter to the President [Jokowi],” The Business Times stated.

Malaysia’s New Straits Times also covered Syahrul’s resignation, quoting him as saying, “The reason I resigned is because of the legal process I am going through, which I must take seriously.”

Syahrul Yasin Limpo has come under intense scrutiny after the KPK identified three clusters related to corruption allegations within the Ministry of Agriculture. The ongoing investigation is reportedly the first cluster, with dozens of individuals involved having been questioned.

Among them is Syahrul Yasin Limpo.

Based on information from a case hearing received by CNNIndonesia.com, the leadership of the KPK has agreed to designate Syahrul and two other Ministry of Agriculture officials as suspects.

This suspect status has been confirmed by the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD.

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