Tengku Agam’s Accessories
Irwandi Yusuf is suspected of arranging numerous projects from the planning stage as well as placing his trusted people in strategic posts. His accomplices include relatives, close friends and a former combatant.
On July 2, Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf invited several officials in the Aceh provincial government to a meeting, also attended by Fenny Steffy Burase, the governor’s expert staff for the 2018 Aceh Marathon. The meeting was held because the marathon’s committee had not yet finished preparing one month ahead of the international event, which was to take place on Weh Island.
Steffy’s attorney, Fahri Timur, said his client made use of the occasion to explain the marathon committee’s financial state. Steffy informed that the committee needed jerseys for participants as well as trophies for winners. "Bu Steffy said that waiting for the tender would take a long time, while the marathon was to be held on July 29," said Fahri last Sunday.
Because of the time constraint, said Fahri, Steffy requested the provincial government’s assistance to cover the marathon committee’s needs. Fahri claims to be unaware of Irwandi’s response to the request made by the former model from Manado, but the lawyer says his client was given an indication that the government intended to help.
The next day, Irwandi’s expert staff Hendri Yuzal as well as Tamitana CEO Syaiful Bahri began looking for funding. Syaiful received Rp500 million from Ahmadi, the regent of Bener Meriah, Aceh. The money was then transferred to Steffy.
According to Fahri, the money was transferred to accounts owned by the 2018 Aceh Marathon’s vendors, and not his client’s account. To his client’s knowledge, the Rp440 million was transferred by Irawandi’s driver Fadli from a private-owned entity to the accounts of the marathon’s vendors. Fadli made three transfers, each of Rp197 million, Rp193 million and Rp50 million. The money was sent with Steffy and Syaiful Bahri’s knowledge. "Steffy didn’t know where they money was from," said Fahri.
Because of the transfer, Irwandi, Ahmadi, Syaiful Bahri, and Hendri Yuzal was detained by Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigators on July 3. KPK Deputy Chair Basaria Panjaitan said the money was meant for "fees" to ensure that the Bener Meriah regency government would receive Aceh’s special autonomy fund. The money was collected by Ahmadi from business people and was given to Irwandi through Syaiful and Hendri. Ahmadi promised Rp1.5 billion to Irwandi. "The money was a commitment fee of eight percent for officials in the Aceh government," said Basaria.
The KPK declared Irwandi, Syaiful and Hendri as suspected bribery recipients, and Ahmadi as the person giving the bribe. The four were then placed in separate detention facilities. Irwandi, for example, is detained at the KPK Detention Center, while Ahmadi is held at the Kodam Jaya Military Police Detention Center in Guntur, South Jakarta.
When he was asked for confirmation following his questioning, Irwandi denied having received fees from projects funded through the Aceh special autonomy fund. "I’ve not received money or received fees," said the man often referred to as Tengku Agam. He also denied having a special relationship with Steffy. "Just a friend," he said. Like Irwandi, Steffy denied having a special relationship. "Only a work relationship," she said following a KPK examination in mid-July.
Aceh began receiving the special autonomy fund after Law No. 11/2006 on Aceh government was issued. The law was created in response to the peace treaty between the central government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) in Helsinki, Finland, on August 15, 2005. Law No. 11/2006 regulates Aceh’s special autonomy fund for 20 years, beginning in 2008: 2 percent of the general allocation fund for 15 years, and 1 percent in the last 5 years.
The special autonomy fund has seen several management patterns. At first, the fund was distributed through the province. Later, it was directly transferred to regency and city governments. This year, the Aceh special autonomy fund’s management is returned to the provincial government, in line with Qanun (Bylaw) No. 10/2016 on Allocation Procedures for Additional Funding from Oil and Gas Revenue Sharing as well as the Implementation of the Special Autonomy Fund.
Since 2008, Aceh has received Rp56 trillion in special autonomy funds. This year, it received Rp8 trillion. The provincial government has only distributed Rp2 trillion of the special autonomy fund. The change in how the fund is managed is strongly suspected as being the factor that gave Irwandi the opportunity to arrange projects funded through the special fund, because the authority now lies with the governor.
According to the KPK document we received, Irwandi arranged projects by placing his trusted men in every agency. He also has henchmen in the regions, specifically tasked with arranging payments of fees from regencies receiving the special autonomy funds.
The pattern is clearly seen in the bribery given by Ahmadi to Irwandi, which was forwarded through Hendri Yuzal and Syaiful Bahri, both of whom are Irwandi’s trusted men. The money was then given to Fenny Steffy Burase. It was Steffy’s footprints that led KPK’s investigators to Irwandi’s wider network across agencies and the regions in his work arranging projects funded through the special autonomy fund as well as Aceh’s regional budget.
KPK’s document also reveals that Steffy has been arranging projects at the public works and spatial planning office and the Sabang Area Management Body (BPKS). "She couldn’t be separated from the Governor Irwandi’s fee based projects funded through special autonomy fund," written the document. The KPK has banned Steffy from travelling abroad till the next six months.
KPK Chair Agus Rahardjo does not deny that the document exists. Besides proof of transfer seized by investigators while apprehending Irwandi, "We received information that there was money directly submitted by Irwandi to her (Steffy)," said Agus two weeks ago.
Steffy’s attorney Fahri Timur denies the allegation that his client has been arranging projects at the public works and spatial planning office as well as the BPKS. As far as his client knows, there was indeed a budget for the 2018 Aceh Marathon, allocated to the provincial government and the BPKS. "At the BPKS there was Rp2.7 billion for the marathon," he said.
But Steffy had no knowledge of activities financed by the Aceh special autonomy fund at the public works and spatial planning office, said Fahri. "Steffy is unaware of projects at the public works office." His client did say, however, that KPK investigators indeed asked about her roles at the two institutions, added the lawyer.
The KPK document contains 14 names of Irwandi’s trusted people, who have been arranging projects. They come from various professions; some are government officials, others are in Aceh’s regional party management, besides Irwandi’s close friend and former combatant in GAM
The initials FSB-none other than Fenny Steffy Burase-were also included on the list. There were also the initials NI, which stands for an official in the procurement services unit. This person is believed to lead to Nirzali, chief of the Aceh Procurement Services Unit. He is now banned from overseas travels, along with former chief of Aceh Office of Public Works and Spatial Planning, Rizal Aswandi, as well as Teuku Fadhilatul Amri from the private sector. NI is said to have played a role in arranging auctions as well as working groups to engineer auction winners.
Darwati A. Gani, Irwandi’s wife and chair of the Sambinoe Aceh Foundation, is also mentioned in the document. She was examined as a witness in Syaiful Bahri’s investigation two weeks ago. Darwati was reluctant to answer questions from the media after the questioning.
KPK spokesperson Febri Diansyah says he is not yet aware of Irwandi’s accomplices in arranging projects financed by the special autonomy fund. "I have to first ask the investigators," he said. Febri, however, does not deny news that his institution is planning to investigate into money laundering in connection with Irwandi’s case.
Prior, KPK Deputy Chair Basaria Panjaitan said the agency was still exploring the possibility that project fees were also given by other regions and offices. "The KPK is still working out if this pattern is also happening in the government sector and other regencies in Aceh," he said.
Irwandi’s attorney Sayuti Abubakar denies reports that his client has been giving away projects financed by the Aceh special autonomy fund and receiving fees from the program. "Clearly the information is false," said Sayuti last Sunday. Like Sayuti, Irwandi has denied the allegation. "I’ve not arranged projects, I’ve not arranged fees," said Irwandi.
Hendri Yuzal, on the other hand, wishes to expose the case by becoming a justice collaborator. "He has expressed the wish to become a justice collaborator, but he hasn’t told me what he plans to expose," said Razman Arief Nasution, Hendri’s lawyer.
Rusman Paraqbueq, Linda Trianita, Aji Nugroho