KATADATA - It seems that the suspicion of a mafia involvement in the crude oil and fuel import activities by Pertamina Energy Trading Limited (Petral) is hard to be proved through a legal process; even though Pertamina has given the audit result, which was investigated by Kordamentha, an Australian-based forensic audit firm, to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
In the presentation of Pertamina’s president director Dwi Soetjipto about the audit result of Petral last week, it was revealed that Kordamentha did not find any evidence or information that is related to any corruption or bribery activity. The decision was reached based on the review of documents, electronic data, interviews, and many more. However, the search for evidence that indicates any form of corruption is hard to be done, since the auditor has no authority to open up or investigate the bank accounts as well as assets of Petral’s employees.
The only real discovery from Petral’s audit result that was investigated for the period of January 2012 until May 2015 is about a violation or deviation in the operational procedure of the company. That problem started from a change in Pertamina’s leadership policy in 2012, which is related to the purchase of crude oil as well as direct oil products from the national oil company (NOC) and refinery owners. The policy has caused inefficiency in terms of the whole value of it all. “And based on the auditor’s report, the inefficiency did happened due to a longer chain of supply, which has caused the price to be more expensive,” Dwi said in his presentation.
There are three factors that caused the inefficiency to happen. First, it was because of Petral’s policy in the process of procurement, starting from determining the price, volume, and the choice of NOC that was not competitive. Second, it was because the leaked secret information. And third, it was because of an external party’s influence in the business activities of Petral, like an indirect choosing of partners as well as during the negotiation process regarding the terms and condition.
However in the audit result, Kordamentha did not specifically mention whether the external party was the oil and gas mafia or not. Besides, the audit result does not indicate any evidence about the involvement of the old board of directors of the firm.
Previously, State-owned Enterprises (SOE) Minister Rini Soemarno said that the government, along with the management of Pertamina, has prepared two steps to follow up the audit result of Petral. First, there will be internal action from the corporation, like to process the employees that have been proven to violate the rules of the firm.
Second, there will be legal action if there is any indication that is related to violation or harmful activity against the state. And according to Rini, the legal action could only be taken after this matter is discussed with Energy and Mineral Resources (EMR) Minister Sudirman Said as well as with President Joko (Jokowi) Widodo. Sudirman also said the same thing last week.
On the other hand, Coordinating Maritime and Resources Affairs Minister Rizal Ramli said that the government will process the audit result of Petral through legal investigation,
However, based on the information that Katadata received from several other sources, the officials inside the government have not been united to reach one whole decision to take Petral’s case into the law court; since the evidence and discoveries of Petral’s audit are not strong enough to be handled by the law enforcers like KPK. But then, in the development of this case, Dwi admitted to have sent the audit result to KPK, last Monday (16/11).
But, several people consider that it is not that hard to take the violations and deviations of Petral into legal process. A member of the House from Hanura Faction, Inaz Nasrulloh Zubir, suspected that there was a joint-involvement within Pertamina and the government during that time. “If [there’s no relation with Pertamina], then how come the crude oil and fuel import can be delegated to PES [Pertamina Energy Service Pte. Ltd., Petral’s subsidiary) for years,” Inaz added.
Additionally, Tommy Tumbelaka, an executive in Oiltanking GmbH, oil storage firm from Germany, said that Petral’s audit should be conducted for the period of 2007 to 2014, and the focus should only be on two items. First, it should be about the winner of the oil tender that was being controlled by NOC. It can be proven from the matching-up of the bill-of-lading (BL) documents with the original cargo from NOC, which was the winner of the tender.
Second, it should be about the comparison between the tender documents that Petral has with the oil price in the market at that time. “If the focus is on these two during the audit, then it will be a legal case,” Tommy said.