Sat, 26 Apr 2003

Officials pilfer rice for the poor

BOGOR: Thirteen village chiefs in Jasinga district of Bogor regency have admitted to selling 88.42 tons of rice designated for poor families.

Adj. Comr. Yayan Sopyan of the Bogor Police said the village heads told police interrogators on Wednesday that they had sold the rice to a trader in Cipinang rice market in East Jakarta after consulting with an official of Jasinga district, Aep Supaat.

Aep, head of the social affairs unit, reportedly told them to sell the rice to the trader at a profit of Rp 400 per kilogram. The village heads were required to share the profit with Aep. Each village head reportedly received an average of Rp 2 million.

In an effort to alleviate poverty, the government has introduced a rice for the poor program. Under the program, poor people are entitled to buy the rice for Rp 1,000 per kilogram, which is much lower than the market price.

Separately, head of the Bogor Audit Agency, Muammal Soelaiman, said that an investigation had revealed that Aep had committed "undisciplined" deeds because he had distributed the rice not in accordance with procedure. --JP