10 November 2018

Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), arrested two Lippo Group consultants and an employee accused of trying to pay off city officials to obtain property permits for Meikarta.

Meikarta is Lippo’s biggest project in Indonesia up to now and is aimed at being a centre for the automotive and electronic industries. Costing $21 billion, it will also include five-star hotels, shopping malls, hospitals, and universities.

KPK said on Thursday it had raided 10 locations, including the home of Lippo Group Deputy Chairman James Riady (pictured). It seized financial documents and computers during the raids. It said that it found out from the detained Lippo employees that they had been acting on instructions from Lippo director Billy Sindoro to bribe Neneng Hasanah Yasin, who is the regent for West Java’s Bekasi area, where the Meikarta project is located. She had taken US$480,373 as bribe for facilitating permits for the project. She has returned about $200,000 of the bribe she had taken. Bekasi regency PUPR Agency’s spatial planning division head Neneng Rahmi returned Singapore dollars 90,000 bribe she had taken. KPK has also confiscated $100,000 intended as bribe money.

Lippo Group was founded by Indonesian tycoon Mochtar Riady. He had longstanding ties to President Clinton. He was also closely tied to former president  Suharto. The group has interests in property, health care, education, retail, television and financial services in Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong. PT Matahari Department Store, supermarket operator PT Matahari Putra Prima, PT Siloam International Hospitals and Internet, OUE Singapore and cable TV provider PT First Media are among the listed companies controlled by the group. The Lippo Group began with Lippo Bank, and used it as a platform for regional property development projects. Lippo group controls in excess of $15 billion in assets. Lippo Group delved into the education market with Putian University (in Putian, Fujian Province, China) by providing international training (using English) for specially-selected accounting and computer science students.