Investigators Search Bank Indonesia Overnight in Century Probe

Indonesia’s anti-corruption commission searched the central bank’s premises through the night as part of a probe into the 2008 PT Bank Century bailout that has dogged President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s second term.

“The search finished in the early morning today,” the anti-graft agency’s spokesman, Johan Budi, said in a mobile-phone text message. “About 20 boxes of documents were taken by investigators, which were suspected to be related to the Century case.”

The agency started its search yesterday from about 10:30 a.m. in Jakarta, according to Peter Jacobs, director of the communications department at Bank Indonesia. The officials took some documents after searching areas including the bank supervision and monetary departments that were related to the Bank Century case, he said.

The Bank Century rescue at the height of the global financial crisis was attacked by Yudhoyono’s own political allies, with parliament voting in 2010 for a criminal probe of Vice President Boediono and then-Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati. The anti-graft agency started investigating the case after an examination by the state auditor implicated former Bank Indonesia Deputy Governor Budi Mulya.

The anti-corruption agency issued instructions to start a probe into the Bank Century case, VIVAnews reported in February, citing Chairman Abraham Samad. In November, it named as suspects Mulya and Siti Chalimah Fadjriah, another former deputy governor at the central bank, according to the report.

Opposition Campaign

Bank Century, and its 6.7 trillion-rupiah ($674 million) government bailout in 2008, was at the center of a campaign by opposition lawmakers against Boediono and Indrawati, who left to become one of the World Bank’s managing directors. Two major partners in Yudhoyono’s coalition, Golkar and the Prosperous Justice Party, joined the opposition in accusing the officials of abusing their authority during the rescue.

Boediono was central bank governor when the Bank Century rescue was approved. In 2008, Boediono’s predecessor at the central bank, Burhanuddin Abdullah, was found guilty by the country’s anti-corruption court of illegally transferring funds to Indonesian lawmakers. Abdullah denied any wrongdoing.

Bank Indonesia is cooperating and assisting the anti-corruption commission in its investigations, Jacobs said.

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