Singapore’s Blackgold Involved Graft Scandal in Indonesia

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – One of Singapore’s coal producer Blackgold Natural Resources Limited’s (SSX: 41H) shareholders have accused by Indonesia’s anti-graft body on bribery initiative to the member of parliament on one power plant project in Indonesia, said the agency on Sunday (16/07).

One day after the hand-catch operation, the agency examined the house of CEO of PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) Sofyan Basir. CEC’s spokesman Febri Diansyah explains the search for evidence of a case without giving further explanation.

According to head the agency Basaria Panjaitan on Sunday (15/07), one of the Blackgold’s shareholders Johannes Budisutrisno Kotjo tried to bribe a member of parliament Eni Saragih with cash Rp4.85 billion (US$339,169) for coal-fired plant Riau-1’s tender.

Blackgold received a Letter of Intent (LOI) from PLN to obtain Power Plant Purchase Agreement (PPA) of PLTU Riau-1 project in January 2018.

The consortium consists of BlackGold, PT Pembangkitan Jawa-Bali, PT PLN Batubara (PLN BB) and China Huadian Engineering Co., Ltd. (CHEC). The company will develop, construct, operate and maintain a 2 x 300 MW coal mine of Riau-1 power plant.

Under the LOI, the Consortium will incorporate a definitive PPA with PLN upon the fulfilment of certain terms and conditions as laid down in the LOI. Upon receipt of the LOI, the consortium will form a joint venture for the Riau-1 Project to finalize a long-term fixed-term fixed-use agreement with BlackGold subsidiary PT Samantaka Batubara to supply coal to the Riau-1 Project.

“This is the largest in the history of BlackGold’s journey towards our ultimate goal of securing the Riau-1 Project. We will work earnestly to complete all the necessary formalities ahead of PPA’s final signing with PLN,” Blackgold CEO Philipp Rickard said in a statement on Wednesday (24/1/2018).

The PJB is a powerhouse company aimed at promoting Indonesia’s economic development by providing high-quality, reliable and sustainable energy supply. PJB is a wholly owned subsidiary of PLN.

PLN BB provides support to its parent company, PLN, to get coal for power plants.

While CHEC is a state-owned power engineering company in China. CHEC’s core business includes research and development of high-tech products, engineering designs, general contracts, as well as energy technology research and services. CHEC is currently involved in the construction, investment, operation and maintenance projects of various power generation projects located in Indonesia.

The Corruption Eradication Commission assigns Vice Chairman of the House of Representatives Commission VII Eni Maulani Saragih and shareholder of Blackgold Natural Resources Limited Johanes Budisutrisno Kotjo as a suspect.

Both are allegedly involved in criminal acts of bribery related to the agreement of cooperation contract for the construction of PLTU Riau-1 in Riau. From the contract, Eni allegedly received Rp 4.8 billion from Johanes.

“Allegedly total bribe amounting to Rp 4.8 billion,” said Vice Chairman of KPK Basaria Panjaitan in a press conference, at the KPK Building, Jakarta, Saturday (14/07/2018).

Acceptance of money towards Eni Maulani Saragih through Johanes staff and family in four stages. First, in December 2017 amounting to Rp 2 billion, in March 2018 amounting to Rp 2 billion, on June 8, 2018 amounting to Rp 300 million, and the latest receipt on July 13, 2018 amounting to Rp 500 million.

The money amounting to Rp 4.8 billion received by Eni is because he smoothed the signing process of cooperation related to the development of PLTU Riau-1. At the last reception, KPK’s immediate team arrested Eni Maulani Saragih, Johanes and 11 others.

“In this activity, KPK secures some evidence in the form of money Rp 500 million in denominations of Rp 100 thousand and documents or receipts of Rp 500 million,” said Basaria.

On the allegation, Eni allegedly as the recipient of a bribe snared by Article 12 a or b or Article 11 of Law Number 31 Year 1999 concerning the Eradication of Corruption as amended by Law Number 20 Year 2001 juncto Article 55 paragraph (1) of the Criminal Code juncto 64 paragraph (1) of the Criminal Code.

While Johannes suspected as the giver is charged with Article 5 paragraph (1) a or b or Article 13 of Law Number 31 Year 1999 concerning Eradication of Corruption as amended by Law Number 20 Year 2001 juncto Article 64 paragraph (1) of the Criminal Code.

“The KPK deeply regretted that such incidents happened again, in which KPK got some evidence of alleged conspiracy and money recipients as a fee related to one of the 35,000-megawatt power plant project,” explained Basaria.

On Sunday (15/07), the agency examines house of the CEO of the state-owned utility producer PT Perusahaan Listik Negara (PLN) Sofyan Basir. There is no explanation so far what the accuse for him.

An announcement in the Singapore Stock Exchange, Board of Directors of BlackGold Natural Resources Limited (the “Company” or “BlackGold” and, together with its subsidiaries, the “Group”) refers to a press statement by the Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (“KPK”) on 14 July 2018 (the “Press Article”) in relation to bribery allegations involving Ms Eni Maulani Saragih, a member of the Indonesian house of representatives and Mr Johanes Budisutrisno Kotjo (“Mr Kotjo”), wherein references were made to the Group and the Riau-1 Project. The Company wishes to confirm and provide assurance that:

a. The allegations contained in the Press Article are extraneous to the Group as the Directors and management were not, and are not involved whatsoever, in the transaction mentioned in the Press Article. To further clarify, Mr Kotjo has ceased being a consultant of the Group since June 2018.

b. up to the date of this announcement, negotiations on the Riau-1 Project have been progressing as intended.

c. there is no impact on the Group’s ongoing mining operations. The Group’s business activities, including coal deliveries to its customers, are proceeding as normal. The Board will provide further updates when there are material developments on this matter.

Shareholders of the Company (“Shareholders”) and potential investors are advised to read this announcement and any further announcements by the Company carefully. Shareholders are also advised to refrain from taking any action in respect of their securities in the Company which may be prejudicial to their interests and to exercise caution when dealing in the securities of the Company. In the event of any doubt, Shareholders and potential investors should consult their stockbrokers, bank managers, solicitors, accountants or other professional advisers. By Order of the Board Philip Cecil Rickard Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Quoted from various sources, Johannes B Kotjo is a conglomerate that entered one of the 150 richest people in Indonesia with a fortune of USD267 million in 2016.

Blackgold’s shareholder Johanes Kotjo hand-catch by Indonesia’s Anti Graft on Power Plant Project in Indonesia – Photo : Privacy

The money from Johanes Kotjo to Eni Saragih was allegedly related to the project of PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) in Riau. The power plant project is included in a 35,000 megawatt (MW) project.

Based on media crew search, a number of a consortium consisting of BlackGold, PT Pembangkitan Jawa-Bali, PT PLN Batubara (PLN BB) and China Huadian Engineering Co., Ltd. (CHEC) is currently working on the PLTU project in Riau.

Johanes Kotjo is known to be one of the shareholders in BlackGold. The company is engaged in the field of multinational energy.

Never Detained Police

Before being arrested by KPK, Johannes B Kotjo was also held in police custody in March 2001. Police arrested Johannes B. Kotjo after being accused in the case of embezzlement and fraud. The detention is a continuation of the development of the takeover case of PT Kanindotex owned by Robby Tjahjadi.

In that case Johannes allegedly committed embezzlement and fraud funds of US $ 70 million. The case rose to the surface after Robby as a reporting witness submitted the scandal to Police Headquarters.

Previously, Johannes and his colleagues who joined in Asia Pacific Century (APAC) Inti Corpora- Bambang Trihatmodjo, Bambang Riyadi Soegomo, and Vishnu Suhardono have been sued Robby to the South Jakarta District Court.

This issue began in 1995 when the Kotjo consortium intends to take over Kanindotex. At that time, Robby’s textile company was in debt at least Rp 936 billion. In order for this business to run, the consortium promised to inject fresh funds. Rp 539 billion of aid will be used to increase production capacity and for working capital of Rp 170 billion. However, in line with the economic crisis, Kanindotex – now known as APAC Core Corpora – has collapsed. In the end, the company is included in the supervision of the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA).

Email: linda.silaen@theinsiderstories.com