The former Director of the Jakarta Futures Exchange (known as BBJ), Moch Bihar Sakti Wibowo, was sentenced today to three years in prison and a fine of Rp 100 million (Indonesian rupiahs, about $7,400). He was found guilty of bribing the head of the country’s Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (known as Bappebti), Syahrul King Sempurnajaya.
During his time as Chief of the Bappebti, Syahrul reportedly managed to raise $9.1 billion, both by receiving bribes and extorting funds from investors that were placed in an account under a different name. The money was used to buy an apartment, jewelry, land, cars, opening bank accounts and deposits and foreign currency exchange accounts. In 2014, prosecutors of the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission demanded to impose a ten year prison sentence and a fine of Rp 1 billion on him.
Today’s sentence was lighter than the prosecutors’ demand of four years in prison and a fine of Rp 200 million, despite the fact that Bihar was considered to have acted against government efforts to eradicate corruption. Bihar admits that he has given money to Syahrul but denied his initiative was to bribe. “This is not bribery, this is an official request,” said Bihar after the trial. “This is a lesson, so that there can be improvements. From us there was no intention at all, purely an official request. In this instance there is no loss to the state’s coffers,” he added.
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Bihar was found by the court to be in violation of the Law on Corruption Eradication. He was involved in bribing Syahrul with Rp 7 billion (about $520,000) to facilitate the licensing of the futures clearinghouse. The money was transferred by Bihar to Syahrul at Cafe Lulu Arcade Kemang, South Jakarta, on August 2, 2012.