Former Village Head in Tanah Bumbu Accused of Manipulating Palm Oil Revenue

Doc. Sawit Fest 2021 / Muhammad Ridho Hardiansyah, BANJARMASIN – Following reports from villagers represented by the Village Consultative Body (Badan Permusyawaratan Desa – BPD) in Sumber Sari Village, Sungai Loban Sub-district, Tanah Bumbu District, the South Kalimantan Attorney’s Office has initiated a direct investigation into the alleged corruption of ‘palm oil fees,’ amounting to Rp 1.7 billion.

The assumption of manipulation in Village Revenue or Pendapatan Asli Desa (PADes), derived from palm oil fees, came to light when eight villagers from Sumber Sari submitted relevant documents and files to the South Kalimantan Attorney’s Office through the One-Stop Integrated Service (Pelayanan Terpadu Satu Pintu – PTSP) facility.

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Chairman of BPD Village of Sumber Sari, Suhartono said non-active Head of Sumber Sari Village, initial T, might manipulate the fund. The villagers wanted to get Village Revenue fund responsibility in 2014 to 2018 from palm oil process fund that the villagers cultivated through the local koperasi unit desa.

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The smallholders and villagers’ income was in discount for palm oil fee which actually it should be used to develop and welfare the villagers of Sumber Sari. “The collected fund from palm oil fee – discount from the villagers could be reaching Rp 1,7 billion,” Suhartono said, as quoted from Antara, last Thursday.

The villagers urged to get the fund responsibility about palm oil fee but T never delivered detail of it until 14 Juni 2022. The villagers and BPD Village of Sumber Sari did meet and concluded to reject the report of Village Revenue because of some fraud assumption and there were no clear physical payment checks.

Besides, Suhartono continued, some other frauds, such as, palm oil fee discount that reached up to Rp 118 million for TPA and MTQ that reached Rp 23 million and it was given without having discussion in the first place. (T2)

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