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Pelindo II boss Lino claims graft allegations a hatchet job

Pelindo II boss Lino claims graft allegations a hatchet job
High profile Pelindo II head Richard Lino, who is fighting corruption charges in relation to a quay crane purchase, has fought back, claiming that the allegations are a power play for control of the company, local media reported.

Lino said he believed the charges brought by the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, were influenced by parties trying to take over the major state-owned port operator, which controls the biggest port in Indonesia.

“I built this company from operating at a loss to the profitable company that it is today,” he said. “Today, my company has IDR18.5trn ($1.34bn) in cash at the bank. Pelindo II has a total of IDR45trn in assets. To me this is no longer politics; this is a hostile takeover.”

The KPK last week named Lino as a suspect for allegedly abusing his authority to directly appoint a Chinese company to supply quay container cranes for Pelindo II, resulting in as-yet-undisclosed losses to the state.

Lino has previously been accused and cleared of similar charges by the National Police. They have been trying for months to pin similar charges against him in the separate purchase of mobile cranes with no success, while the state auditor says it found no irregularities in the purchase of the mobile cranes.

Lino denied both accusations, saying he had introduced a series of reforms at the port operator since taking over as chief executive in 2009, including ousting corrupt and underperforming officials.

“This is a consequence of me trying to reform (Pelindo). I have ousted many people, so naturally there are a lot people trying to hurt me,” he said. “I have been bombarded with allegation after allegation. We need to check the credibility of all of the people reporting (these allegations).”Lino said the attempt to oust him became more apparent after the House of Representatives formed a special committee in the wake of the police’s investigation. He said legislators had been eyeing his removal even before the committee began working.

“This is why from early on I have prepared myself for this worst-case scenario,” he said, adding he would not resign from his post unless told to do so by the company’s board of commissioners or the minister of state-owned enterprises.