Indonesia's anti-corruption agency closes in on religious affairs ministry director-general

Indonesia's anti-corruption agency closes in on religious affairs ministry director-general

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has stepped up its probe into the possible role played by the Religious Affairs Ministry's director general for the haj and umrah (minor pilgrimage), Anggito Abimanyu, concerning the alleged irregularities during the 2012-2013 haj programme.

KPK investigators confiscated late on Friday a number of documents from Anggito's office, lending credence to speculation that he will soon follow Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali by being named a suspect in the case.

The ministry confirmed on Sunday that the KPK was seeking more evidence in the case.

"The KPK investigators also seized a laptop and a cell phone [from Anggito's office]," Religious Affairs Ministry inspector general M. Jasin told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.

Jasin, who is a former KPK commissioner, added that the irregularities being investigated by the KPK took place after Anggito assumed leadership of the directorate.

The KPK has already named Suryadharma a suspect for abusing his power by flying dozens of people, allegedly his relatives, ministry colleagues and lawmakers at the House of Representatives whose names were falsely registered as Indonesian Haj Organizing Committee (PPHI) representatives, to join him on a haj pilgrimage using state budget funds.

When asked if the departures of "Suryadharma's associates" would have required Anggito's approval, Jasin said that all PPHI members had to meet the requirements set by Anggito's office, implying that the falsifying of their identities as PPHI representatives had to have been carried out with Anggito's knowledge.

"It is not within my authority to say whether he [Anggito] had any knowledge of this. That authority lies with the KPK," Jasin said, adding that the number of documents seized Friday by the KPK from several offices at the ministry totaled around 300.

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