Sunday, December 3, 2023

Alleged monopolies and drug rings in Indonesian prison involving Minister’s family

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Journalist IBP


Mahinda Arkyasa



During an interview in a Youtube channel, Indonesian actor Tio Pakusadewo stated that there are various monopoly practices in the management of Indonesian prisons which involve many people, including prison guards and wardens. In addition, he revealed the existence of illegal drug network transactions in prisons, and drug factories in prisons. Tio also mentioned the involvement of a minister’s son in the illegal business.

In relation to Tio’s statement, a Twitter account by the name of @PartaiSocmed stated that the minister’s son mentioned by Tio is the son of Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna Laoly, Yamitema Laoly. “What Tio Pakusadewo means at the end of this video is the Jeera Foundation under the management of PT Natur Palas Indonesia, which monopolizes the cooperative and canteen business in several large prisons, in which Yasonna Laoly’s son is the Chairman and Co-Founder,” the account posted.

Yamitema Tirtajaya Laoly is the third child of Yasonna Laoly, Minister of Law and Human Rights (Menkumham). He graduated from law master study at the University of Indonesia. Currently, Yamitema has been implicated in the bribery case of the former Mayor of Medan Dzulmi Eldin in 2019. Yamitema was questioned by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) about the projects of the Medan Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Service which were allegedly carried out by his company PT Kani Jaya, a construction company. However, he was later freed from any allegations of corruption.

The Jeera Foundation is a foundation that provides training in various subjects such as painting, music, and other for inmates. The foundation has collaborated with many parties including the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes), Parsons School of Design New York, and government and other institutions.

Tio further stated that he witnessed drug trafficking, selling and buying of cell phones, food, drinks, mattresses, luxury rooms, and even roving drug dealers when he was in the Cipinang State Detention Center (Rutan).

The head of the Cipinang Detention Center, Ali Sukarno, denied the statement and argued that it was misleading and untrue. “The statement was misleading, there was disinformation conveyed by those concerned,” said Sukarno on May 2, 2023.

“In actual conditions, there is no indication of luxury residential rooms in all residential blocks, and there is no name for the Tipikor block in the Cipinang Class I Detention Center,” he added.

Meanwhile, in the case of mattresses being traded, Sukarno said his party had distributed 635 units of mattresses to detainees in each residential block free of charges.

Edward Omar Sharif Hiariej, Deputy Minister of Law and Human Rights (Wamenkumham) also responded to this accusation by denying the alleged monopoly in correctional institutions (Lapas) carried out by Yamitema Tirtajaya Laoly. According to Omar, many foundations have been running catering and cooperative businesses in prisons, not only the company owned by Yamitema Laoly.

Currently, there are many other foundations that have contributed to the management and operation of detention centers and penitentiaries, including the Maharani Foundation, and Al Barokah foundation, among others. Through partnerships with several foundations, detention centers and penitentiary can provide assistance to its detainees to prepare them for their return to the society. “What the foundation is doing is partnerships and working together. As well as providing trainings to the inmates. Among other things, there are [trainings on] music, painting, crafts and so on,” said Omar on May 2, 2023.

Meanwhile, Yasonna Laoly denied that his son was involved in the monopoly in penitentiaries through the Jeera Foundation. “Ah, that’s a big lie, there is no [monopoly],” said Yasonna on May 2, 2023.

Apart from the monopoly allegation, it is also known that there are many cases of involvement of wardens in illicit practices which leads to wardens having wealth abundant wealth. One of such cases is the case of Dhawank Delvi, the warden of the Rajabasa Prison in Bandar Lampung who owns a Harley Davidson, luxury homes, and even capable of building a hospital.

The Ministry of Law and Human Rights (Kemenkumham) will also take strict action the presence of luxury cells in prisons.

Journalist IBP


Mahinda Arkyasa




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