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Double Jeopardy

Bali Police Investigating Possible Corruption of Tanah Lot and Tabanan Regency Management Funds

(11/8/2013) The Bali Post reports that the way in which admission charge funds at Bali’s famous Tanah Lot Temple are distributed is again under scrutiny by Bali Police.

An investigative team from the Corruption Investigation Squad (tipikor) of the Bali Police has recently been on the scene in Tabanan looking into suspected fictional promotional funds amounting to Rp. 600 million (US$52,000) charged to the Regional Budget (APBD) in 2009.

At least four Tabanan officials underwent marathon interrogation by the police at the Tabanan Planning and Development Office (Bappeda) on Tuesday, October 29, 2013. Subjected to questioning were the chief of Bappeda in Tabanan IB Wiratmaja, the chief of Tabanan’s Regional Revenue Office (Kasispenda) Nyoman Sudarma, the head of Tabanan’s Culture and Tourism Office Wayan Adnyana and the head of the Transportation and Communications office Made Agus Hartawiguna. Each was asked by police explain their respective official duties as they concern the operation of the Tanah Lot Temple, one of Bali’s most iconic tourism destinations.

During the course of their investigation police have reportedly discovered indications of fictional expenditures used to promote Tanah Lot in China and New Zealand. Preliminary indications suggest that the cost of the promotional trip was charged twice: once to regional budget of Tabanan and a second time to the budget of the management board for Tanah Lot.

“The regional government of Tabanan paid for the promotion of Tanah Lot. In fact, there was already an allocation for this amount from the management of Tanah Lot. This is suspected to be a fictive charge,” an unnamed source told The Bali Post on Wednesday, November 6, 2013.

Police are also looking into use of infrastructure funds for Tanah Lot that were diverted to promotional uses.

As part of the larger review, Police are investigating how admission fees collected from Tanah Lot visitors are shared with the regional government of Tabanan.

Several of the officials interrogated by the police were not in their current positions when the 2009 expenditures on promotion took place.

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