By Nani Afrida
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AA) - The minister of social affairs in Indonesia turned himself in on Sunday after he was named in a graft case related to the distribution of social aid amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Previously, chairman Firli Bahuri of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) accused Juliari Peter Batubara of receiving 17 billion Indonesian rupees ($1.2 million) in bribes from suppliers of staple foods used in the COVID-19 social aid program in the Greater Jakarta area.
From May to November, two of Juliari's subordinates, Matheus Joko Santoso and Adi Wahyono, had closed procurement deals with several suppliers as partners, including Ardian IM and Harry Sidabuke.
The anticorruption agency also arrested Matheus, Adi, Ardian and Harry in a sting operation in the capital Jakarta early on Saturday.
It also confiscated roughly 14.5 billion rupees in various currencies during the raid.
Juliari is the second Indonesian cabinet minister to be named a suspect by the KPK in recent weeks after Maritime and Fisheries Minister Edhy Prabowo was named a suspect in a separate corruption case.
President Joko Widodo on Sunday said he respected the legal process currently underway at the KPK.
"We respect the legal process and I also need to remind all cabinet ministers, no corruption!" said the president.
*Writing by Maria Elisa Hospita from Anadolu Agency's Indonesian-language service in Jakarta