Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Lap of luxury: Indonesian jailers busted over fancy cells



Lap of luxury: Indonesian jailers busted over fancy cells

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Indonesian officials standing next to home appliances used by inmates at the Sukamiskin jail in Bandung. TIMUR MATAHARI

Lap of luxury: Indonesian jailers busted over fancy cells

INMATES at an Indonesian prison paid for luxury cells equipped with air conditioning, flat-screen TVs and private washrooms, anti-graft officials said, in the graft-riddled country’s latest corruption scandal.

Jail staff allegedly took bribes of 200-500 million rupiah ($14,000-$35,000) from inmates to renovate cells and supply banned mobile phones or even let them temporarily leave prison, Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) said.

Anti-graft agents arrested five people connected to the scandal at Sukamiskin prison, including inmates and the warden who got cash and a pair of vehicles to look the other way, it added.

A raid on Sunday turned up several cells that featured modern bathrooms with hot showers, full-sized refrigerators, coffee makers, microwave ovens and stereo loudspeakers, the KPK said.

“We apologise to the Indonesian people,” Sri Puguh Budi Utami, the director general of Indonesia’s prisons, told reporters late Sunday.

“We’re very sorry that we still have not been able to maximise our monitoring systems.”

A former tax official now serving time at Sukamiskin was once photographed watching a tennis tournament in Bali and had even travelled overseas on a fake passport when he was supposed to be in another jail.

The prison’s other inmates include a former chief justice and ex-house speaker Setya Novanto, who was convicted in April of taking millions of dollars in kickbacks and bribes linked to the national roll-out of government ID cards.

 They were not among the inmates or prison staff arrested Sunday. Indonesian prisons are more commonly known for their poor conditions and outbreaks of violence.

But it is an open secret that the rich and powerful can buy luxury on the inside, prompting the government to warn last year that it would jail guards or other staff caught taking bribes from inmates in exchange for special treatment.

In one of the highest-profile cases, a businesswoman imprisoned for bribery had a cell with a spring mattress, couch, refrigerator, television and air conditioning – and adjoining karaoke room.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (