TNI, KPK and BPK Unravel Mystery behind Purchase of AW-101 Helicopter

Monday, 29 May 2017 , 09:00:00 WIB - Law

TNI Commander General, Gatot Nurmantyo (in the middle), TNI AU Chief, Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto (second right) and KPK Chairman, KPK Agus Rahardjo (second left) are seen giving a press conference on the mysterious purchase of an Agusta Westland (AW) 101 helicopter, at KPK�s headquarters in Jakarta, Friday (26/5).(ANTARA)

JAKARTA, GRES.NEWS – Cooperation between the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), the Indonesian Military Police and the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) has successfully revealed corruption in the purchase of an Agusta Westland (AW)-101 helicopter within the Indonesian National Army (TNI). Three TNI officers have been declared a suspect.

TNI Commander, Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo, said three violations against TNI rules occurred in the purchase. First, disobedience against an order, misuse of authority and failure to follow procedures in the procurement of goods and services, and rules on embezzlement and forgery.

"The purchase has inflicted a financial loss to the nation," Gatot said in a press conference with KPK, Jakarta, Friday (26/5).

The suspected officers are initialled FA, who acted as the Commitment Making Official; WW, as the officer who was responsible for the casha nd SS, who distributed funds to certain parties related to the purchse.

TNI had to spend Rp738 billion for the helicopter and the government lost Rp220 billion from the purchase.

KPK Chairman, Agus Rahardjo, explained that the price was marked up.

"The amount of money that was confiscated from a BRI bank account that belongs to PT Diratama Jaya Mandiri, as the party that provided the goods (the helicopter), reached Rp139 billion," Agus said.

STRIPPED OF FROM AUTHORITY - The Agusta Westland (AW) 101 was bought by the Indonesian Air Force (TNI AU). The corruption allegedly occurred amidst an authority dispute between TNI Commander and the Ministry of Defense.

In a hearing with the House of Represetatives Commission I, Jakarta, last February, both TNI Commander General Gatot Nurmantyo and the Minister of Defense Ryamizard Ryacudu both said they were unaware of the purchase.

Gatot said he had instructed the cancellation of the helicopter purcahse, saying that he was not informed.

In fact, he complained that he is no longer informed about the weapons purchase of each branch of TNI, since the Minister o Defense issued a rule that stripped the TNI Commander of from the authority in 2015.

"Since the Minsiter of Defense Regulation No.28/2016 was issued, I lost my authority (to supervise weapons purchases at each TNI branches). I should still have the authority. The TNI must make long-term, medium-term and short term plans," he said.

Gatot added that he is only authorized to supervise weapons purchases at the TNI headquarters. As a result, he cannot explain the purchases made by the Indonesian Aiforce (TNI AU), the Indonesian Army (TNI AD) and the Indonesaisn Navy (TNI AL).

Each branch answers directly to the Ministry of Defense. "This is a violation of hierarchy as I no longer supervise my subordinates," he said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Defense Ryamizard Ryacudu said the AW-101 helicoper was initially ordered to function as a Presidential transportaion, so there is a possbility that the purchase went thorugh the State Secretariat.

TNI AU Chief of Staff, Marshal Agus Supriatna, once said that up to six AW-101s will be purchased. Three would function as a heavy duty logistics transportation helicopter and three would function as VVIP helicopters.

President Joko Widodo turnd down the proposal in December 2015.

The President said the helicopter was too expensive, especially amid the sluggish economy.
However, the purchase pull through, although only one unit was purchased. (dtc)