Markus Junianto Sihaloho & Farouk Arnaz
When the Corruption Eradication Commission named two active-duty police generals suspects in a graft case on Tuesday, activists hoped this was a sign the police were no longer above the law.
It is the first time the antigraft commission, known as the KPK, has taken this step with an active police general, despite its earlier tussles with Comr. Gen. Susno Duadji, the National Police’s former chief of detectives. For many people, the step was a long time coming, given the numerous reports that have come out over the years linking officers to corruption.
Antigraft activists and experts said the KPK’s decision to go after the former director of the National Police’s traffic division, Insp. Gen. Djoko Susilo, and Djoko’s former deputy, Brig. Gen. Didik Purnomo, could open the door to rooting out much bigger corruption inside the force.
Bambang Widodo Umar, an observer on police issues, said on Wednesday that markups and bribery inside the police had always been the norm. “This is an entry point to clean up the police. I hope the police leadership supports the KPK’s investigation,” he said.
Djoko and Didik have been named suspects in a project to procure driving simulators for the traffic police division. The project has been estimated by some to be worth Rp 198.7 billion ($21 million).
This is not the first time police officers have been linked to bribes or markups, but none of the them were ever charged and the cases disappeared.
In one example, the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK) reportedly said dozens of police officers had hundreds of billions of rupiah in their bank accounts.