Probe in works over misuse of state property
TANGERANG (JP): The Tangerang District Prosecutor's Office will investigate the takeover of a 10-hectare state-owned plot of land in Babakan subdistrict, the head of the prosecutor's office, Noor Asikin, said.
He said on Wednesday his office was gathering data on state assets that allegedly were obtained illegally by officials and local residents.
"We'll soon establish a team to track down the owners of the state plots. We'll impose sanctions against whoever is proven guilty in this case.
"State property must be retained as a national asset and cannot be taken over or sold for other purposes," he said.
Noor hinted the illegal take over of the land had been going on since last May.
"The area houses some 200 plots, with each plot ranging from 200 square meters up to 2,000 square meters. Most of the plots are empty, with bushes and wild plants on the land.
"To my surprise, the ownership of the plots was shifted to individuals, complete with land-ownership documents issued by the National Land Agency (BPN)," he said.
According to reports, the dispute began when BPN granted a land-use permit to private developer PT Mayo Waya, which planned to build a park, shopping mall and hotel on the plot.
The permit was issued by the Tangerang mayor on Nov. 3, 1998, and endorsed by the head of the local industrial office on Nov. 30, 1998.
The development plan was in accordance with Tangerang City bylaws No. 14/1994 and No. 19/1994 on basic development and city spatial planning, respectively. The plot itself is designed for business, office and service space, while its status is that of a state property in the form of swamps, vegetables gardens, empty plots and villages.
"Knowing that PT Mayo Waya was going to acquire the land and pay proper compensation for it, locals and officials thronged to acquire the plots before reselling them to the developer.
"The locals and officials applied for ownership documents for the plots, which were later endorsed by BPN," Noor said.
The former head of the Tangerang Mayoralty Council, Muchtar Djamil, said he had received a land-ownership certificate for one of the plots last year.
"Somebody gave me a certificate for a 325-square-meter plot in Babakan. I have no idea about it and never asked for the plot.
"Because the document was legal ... I took it anyway," Muchtar, who is now chairman of the Golkar Party in Tangerang, said.
Rudi A. Dinuri, an assistant for development administration in the Tangerang mayoralty who also possesses a land-ownership certificate, said all the ownership certificates for the plots were issued by BPN.
"The National Land Agency is the only party authorized to issue the certificates. In this case, I'm not the only person who received a certificate. Many officials here also possess plots as they were given certificates.
"BPN should properly explain this matter," he said.
Rudi, a former staffer in the Tangerang mayoralty's public relations department, said there were inconsistencies on his land-ownership certificate.
"My date of birth is Oct. 27, 1957, but on the land document it appears as Dec. 11, 1957," he said.
Details on those officials who received land-ownership certificates for the plots were unavailable. (41/edt)