Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo went missing during European trip, his current whereabouts unknown

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Indonesia has been left in the dark regarding the whereabouts of Syahrul Yasin Limpo (SYL), Agriculture Minister, who embarked on an official visit to Europe. The Ministry of Agriculture confirmed the loss of contact with Minister Syahrul during his visit, which was meant to strengthen diplomatic and agricultural ties with European countries.

Hasnul Qolbi, Deputy Agriculture Minister Harvick reported that the ministry’s team accompanying Syahrul Yasin during his European tour has been unable to reach him for the past three days. Syahrul’s contact was lost shortly after his scheduled return from official meetings in Italy and Spain.

“By Saturday (30/9) or Sunday (1/10), Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo should have returned to Indonesia. However, we have been unable to communicate with him for two to three days now,” stated Harvick, on October 3, 2023.

Minister Syahrul was expected to attend a restricted Cabinet meeting on October 3, 2023, concerning the mitigation of the impacts of the El Nino phenomenon. However, his absence led Deputy Minister Harvick to represent him at the meeting.

Harvick expressed his lack of knowledge about Syahrul’s current whereabouts. The last time they met was before Syahrul’s meeting with Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas Puchades, in Madrid on September 29, 2023.

“As of now, we have no information regarding the Minister’s whereabouts. There has been no contact at all,” Harvick disclosed.

Harvick detailed that Minister Syahrul had invited high-ranking officials from echelon I and echelon II to join him during the European visit. The group split upon returning to Indonesia due to separate flight bookings.

Despite the situation, the Ministry of Agriculture (Kementan) has not filed a missing person report to locate Syahrul’s whereabouts. Harvick is confident that relevant authorities are already actively searching for the Minister.

“It appears that the government, and the responsible institutions, are likely already working to determine Minister Syahrul’s location,” he said.

Still abroad

Silmy Karim, Director-General of Immigration at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights (Kemenkumham), confirmed that Syahrul was still abroad.

“He hasn’t entered Indonesia yet; he was last in Rome. He departed on September 24,” Silmy reported.

According to Silmy, Syahrul left Indonesia via Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Tangerang on September 24 to attend the High-Level Forum of the Global Conference on Sustainable Livestock Transformation in Rome, Italy. He was then scheduled to return to Indonesia on September 30 and arrive in the country on October 1.

Government responded to the situation

The Ministry of Law and Human Rights is currently tracing the whereabouts of Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo, who is still abroad. Silmy stated that they are awaiting the decision of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) regarding the progress of the corruption case involving Syahrul. The KPK’s decision will serve as the basis for Kemenkumham to determine Syahrul’s status as a citizen abroad, also known as DPO (Daftar Pencarian Orang or Wanted List).

“I have not received any letter from the KPK concerning proposals or decisions related to the needs of the investigation process at the KPK,” Silmy confirmed.

During this time, Silmy mentioned that they cannot initiate a search for Syahrul independently without a formal letter from the KPK.

“I limit myself according to my duties and responsibilities because the authority lies with the KPK,” Silmy added.

House of Representatives search for the minister

Previously, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) conducted a search at the official residence of Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo on Widya Chandra V Street, South Jakarta. The search took place from Thursday, September 28, 2023, around 5:00 PM WIB until Friday, September 29, 2023.

KPK spokesperson Ali Fikri stated that the search of Syahrul Yasin’s residence was related to a suspected corruption case under investigation by the KPK within the Ministry of Agriculture. Ali confirmed that the KPK had identified suspects in the case but had not yet announced their names.

During the search, the KPK seized a significant amount of Indonesian and foreign currency, amounting to tens of billions of rupiah. Additionally, investigators confiscated valuable documents, including financial records. The KPK also discovered 12 firearms, which have been handed over to the Jakarta Metro Police.

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