Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Edhy Prabowo has been arrested by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) when he arrived at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport from the US.
He was apprehended along with several other people, on the morning of Wednesday 25th November 2020.
The Minister and his wife, Indonesian House of Representatives member Iis Rosita Dewi, were reportedly arrested when they arrived in Indonesia at around 1:23am. Both had returned from Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, and landed at terminal three of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Tangerang.
Along with several other people, they were then taken to the KPK building in Kuningan, South Jakarta to undergo an intensive examination. Marine Sector Observer and Executive Director of the Centre for Maritime Studies for Humanity, Abdul Halim, suspects that the Edhy Prabowo case was related to the opening of the lobster seed export tap.
This is a controversial policy because it contradicts his predecessor, Susi Pudjiastuti, who tried to stop the export of these commodities. Susi believed that lobster seed export only benefited fishermen in the short-term and was not sustainable.
This allegation was confirmed by KPK Chairman Firli Bahuri. He said that the arrest was related to the issuance of a lobster seed export permit, as quoted by Pikiran Rakyat.
Before being arrested, the minister had met with Indonesian crew members overseas who were now working on foreign ships. He admitted that he has been trying to establish communications, even listening to their complaints as they are still Indonesian fishermen who are beneficial for the country’s marine and fisheries sector.
The Corruption Eradication Commission was briefly ridiculed because many employees left and it has not been as active as it used to be, however, the anti-graft agency has now received public appreciation again. Positive words even came from former employees who had left because they thought the institution didn’t have the integrity it had in the past.
Former KPK spokesman Febri Diansyah said that the arrest of the Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries was an extraordinary achievement for them in the midst of “current conditions”.
Image credit: galamedia.pikiran-rakyat.com