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Indonesian maritime official nabbed for corruption

While Indonesia has ambitious maritime development plans, these are being hampered by old practices. Local media reported that a high-ranking official of the Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) was nabbed in a sting operation by the national anti-graft agency (KPK) in two separate locations in Jakarta this week.

KPK spokesman Febri Diansyah said the official, identified only as ES, served as deputy for law information and cooperation in the agency and was responsible for major procurements.

Bakamla chief Arie Soedewo was quoted as saying the suspect is handling three procurement projects for backbone, long range camera and surveillance systems in the agency valued at around $29.5m.

Three others, alleged to have offered the bribes for the procurement projects, were also arrested in the sting operation.

“The confiscated cash from the operation is still being calculated, but it is a big one,” Febri said.

Bakamla was established by President Joko Widodo in 2014 in one of his first moves to bring about his maritime vision. It was intended to improve coordination among the 14 institutions in charge of maritime affairs.

Apart from complaints about ineffective coordination because standard procedures and overlapping responsibilities have not changed, it seems the insidious old ways continue to plague any efforts at change.

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