Sat, 10 Jul 2004

Pertamina probed over alleged graft

JAKARTA: The Jakarta Police have questioned three officials of state oil supplier PT Pertamina as witnesses in corruption allegations involving the sale by auction of six ships in July 2003.

"Besides Pertamina officials, we have also questioned the winner of the auction and an official from the Ministry of Finance," police spokesman Sr. Comr. Prasetyo said on Friday.

The police had yet to name any suspects, he added.

The three officials reportedly arranged the auction of the used ships. According to the law, any auction of the assets of state enterprises should be made with the consent of the Directorate General for State Auctions, a unit at the Ministry of Finance.

"The ministry stated that Pertamina had permission to auction only five ships, not six," Prasetyo said.

He added that the investigators had not yet disclosed the estimated amount of state losses caused by the alleged graft. -- JP