Indonesia’s Minister of Communications and Information was arrested for corruption charges related to nationwide 4G base station deployment projects, allegedly costing the state IDR8.32 trillion (US$559 million).
Indonesia Business Post reported, the Attorney General’s Office stated Minister Johnny Plate had been detained and was central to this corruption scandal.
The charges relate to the Base Transceiver Station (BTS) phase two project in 2021 and 2022, which aimed to deliver connectivity to 7,904 remote villages. The project has yet to be completed, the budget overran IDR17.3 trillion and only 985 base stations were built out of the 4,000 expected.
Initially, the Attorney general expected a loss of IDR1 trillion, but the figure inflated to IDR 8.32 trillion upon further investigation by the Financial and Development Supervisory Agency.
“There is sufficient evidence that the [Plate] was allegedly involved in the criminal act of corruption in the 4G BTS infrastructure development project,” said Kuntadi, Attorney for Special Crime of the Attorney General's Office.
Indonesia Business Post reported Plate had assets totalling IDR172 billion in 2019 when he took his former role. This increased to IDR191.2 billion in 2020 and the minister did not disclose his assets in 2022.
A replacement for Plate is currently underway.