Berita mengejutkan yang dilansir oleh surat kabar harian The Age terbitan Australia sungguh bagai sebuah coreng di muka bangsa Indonesia.
Dalam artikel yang berjudul “Playing the game”, The Age secara terbuka mengungkapkan terjadinya kasus penyuapan terhadap pejabat BI (Bank Indonesia) yang dilakukan oleh RBA (Reserve Bank of Australia) terkait dengan pemenangan tender proyek pencetakan uang pecahan Rp100 ribu senilai 500 juta pada tahun 1999 semasa Syahril Sabirin menjadi Gubernur BI.
RBA yang merupakan bank sentral Australia sekaligus otoritas pencetakan uang di negara Kanguru memiliki unit usaha pencetakan uang yaitu Securency International and Note Printing Australia seperti halnya Peruri di Indonesia.
Lebih lanjut, pengungkapan yang dilakukan The Age didasarkan pada bocoran faksimili dan email yang bersifat rahasia antara Radius Christanto dengan pihak RBA dan Securency/NPA. Seperti yang tertulis dalam arikel lain yang berjudul “RBA Firms Agreed to Pay Bribes of $US 1,3 juta”, The Age juga mengungkapkan bahwa RBA melalui mediatornya di Indonesia, Radius Christanto, telah melakukan penyuapan sebesar $US 1,3 juta kepada dua pejabat BI.
Pengungkapan kasus ini terjadi setelah Age/ABC Four Corners dalam investigasinya mempeoleh keterangan dari seorang mantan pegawai Securency/NPA yang menyatakan bahwa dia diminta untuk membayar suap dan menyediakan wanita penghibur bagi beberapa pejabat Bank Sentral dari negara lain.
Dari bocoran korespondensi yang dilakukan Radius Christanto, terungkap pula bahwa dia menerima komisi sebesar $US 3.65 juta dari Securency/NPA melalui rekening banknya yang berada di Singapura atas keberhasilannya dalam memenangkan kontrak pencetakan uang pecahan Rp100 ribu pada tahun 1999, Bank Indonesia.
Selain itu, dalam faksimilinya juga terindikasi adanya pejabat BI yang berinisial “S” dan “M” yang menerima $US 1,3 juta dari RBA. The Age meyakini bahwa “S” dan “M” adalah pejabat senior Bank Indonesia yang memainkan peran kunci bagi keberhasilan RBA memenangkan kontrak pencetakan tersebut.
Dari apa yang diungkap oleh The Age, terbukti bahwa ketidakberesan yang terjadi terkait dengan praktek korupsi yang dilakukan oleh BI sesungguhnya sudah berlangsung lama sejak dulu.
Menjadi wajar jika dalam kasus penggelontoran dana bail-out Bank Century, Ketua KKSK sekaligus mantan Menteri Keuangan Sri Mulyani dengan tegas menyatakan hanya bertanggung jawab atas dana sebesar RP632 milyar yang telah disetujui, dan bukan pada Rp6,7 triliun yang akhirnya digelontorkan.
Nampaknya menjadi makin jelas kemana larinya dana Rp6,1 triliun sisanya…
Playing the game
Richard Baker and Nick McKenzieMay 25, 2010
THE golf course was where Radius Christanto did his finest work. Hired by the Reserve Bank of Australia's banknote printing companies Securency and Note Printing Australia, the Jakarta middleman's passion for golf was such that the companies' senior executives would answer his phone calls by asking, ''What course are you on now?''
According to a former Securency employee, among Christanto's regular companions at the tee were top officials from the Indonesian central bank, Bank Indonesia, and state-owned currency printer Perum Peruri.
They were useful partners for a businessman who offered himself to the biggest players in the global banknote industry as the ''go to guy'' when it came to winning money-printing contracts in Indonesia.
Whenever executives from the RBA companies prepared to travel to Jakarta throughout 1999 to discuss a contract to print 500 million Indonesian banknotes, Christanto would often email or fax them with the reminder ''don't forget your golf shoes''.
The year 1999 turned out to be a good one for Christanto and his golfing friends. Securency and NPA landed their first Bank Indonesia contract to print half-a-billion 100,000 rupiah banknotes. The RBA companies promised the golf-playing Bank Indonesia officials more than $US1.5 million in payments, and Christanto was to be rewarded with a $US3.65 million commission for his trouble.
References to the rounds of golf and the huge commission payments are included in dozens of documents obtained by The Age that detail Christanto's confidential faxes and emails to the RBA companies during 1999.
The correspondence, which does not include replies from Securency or NPA, makes it clear that senior management at the RBA companies were well aware of the demand for bribes from Bank Indonesia officials and were, it seems, prepared to pay them.
''As Securency and NPA have signed the contract, all the total dollar figure is very clear. Please kindly issue the total COMM [commission] level in exact amount … please kindly understand my difficult position because it involves a very huge amount of money which have [sic] been committed to our friends,'' Christanto advised a top Securency executive in mid-1999.
This should have raised alarm bells at Securency and NPA about the type of business practices their Jakarta agent might be exposing them to, not to mention the institution that owned them, the well-regarded RBA.
But it did not and Christanto remained in active communication with the RBA companies until at least 2006, according to emails obtained by The Age.
Christanto, the RBA companies and Bank Indonesia were brought together because of the fear that the much-hyped ''millennium bug'' or Y2K phenomenon would lead to the collapse of computer systems around the world with the advent of the year 2000.
As 1999 progressed, governments and corporations worldwide took precautions to deal with possible problems arising from Y2K. Central banks were no different, and during 1999 they increased their banknote orders so that they would have plenty of cash at hand in the event computers crashed.
Bank Indonesia wanted to stockpile 100,000, 50,000 and 20,000 rupiah banknotes. For the 100,000 rupiah note, the central bank decided to try Securency's polymer formula for the first time - a decision largely resulting from the backroom dealings of Christanto and his Bank Indonesia golfing partners.
According to his correspondence with the RBA companies, Christanto made sure the executives in Melbourne knew early on in 1999 that Bank Indonesia officials were taking a strong interest in the rates of commission for the 100,000 rupiah contract.
In May 1999, just weeks before Bank Indonesia was due to announce who would print the 100,000 rupiah note, Christanto advised Securency executives of a strategy he had worked out with his ''friend'' at Bank Indonesia.
''Because of this moment everything is still strictly confidential, the Bank request not to fax the quotation but send them with the courier. I have discussed a lot and agreed with the following strategy:
''1. You mark up the price 20 per cent in your first quotation.
''2. Our friend will reply to you, the price is too high and please kindly reduce your price.
''3. Your second letter agrees to lower 15 per cent.
''4. Our friend will issue their final offer which reduce the additional 5 per cent.''
The upshot of this strategy was that if it was followed according to Christanto's instructions, Securency/NPA would have achieved a 10 per cent ''mark up'' on the actual cost of supplying Bank Indonesia with the banknotes. Securency told Bank Indonesia it would cost $US55.5 million to supply the banknotes, according to Christanto's correspondence.
On May 18, Bank Indonesia formally announced that the 100,000 rupiah note would be printed on the special plastic that was exclusively manufactured and promoted by the RBA companies. This was a coup, considering Indonesia had traditionally printed its money on paper.
Three days later, Christanto faxed a top Securency executive to nail down his commission, which he stated had previously been agreed as $US3.65 million. He referred to a May 19 fax from Securency to support his contention.
But Christanto was not finished. His fax outlined that Securency, as previously agreed, would also have to pay a man regularly referred to in the 1999 correspondence as ''Mr S'' the figure of $US1 million. In addition, Christanto advised that at least $US250,000 was owing to another man known as ''Mr M''.
The Age understands these two men occupied senior roles within Bank Indonesia's currency department during 1999. Christanto advised Securency that Mr M was important because he had written the ''owner's estimate'' - a Bank Indonesia document outlining the bank's expectation on what it would cost Securency/NPA to deliver the banknotes.
By late July, Bank Indonesia had paid the RBA companies the first instalment for the 100,000 rupiah banknote. Christanto again faxed a top Securency executive to advise him of the down payment and asked for his commission to be paid to a Bank of New York account in Singapore that in turn was held by a Swiss bank. He reminded the Securency executive that ''our friends'' at Bank Indonesia ''keep on asking me'' about when the commission will be paid.
It is not known whether Securency complied with Christanto's request, but his correspondence indicates the money was paid as he made no complaint about not receiving his fee.
And later in 1999, he referred to an inquiry from Bank Indonesia officials about whether commission rates for future contracts would be the same as the 100,000 rupiah-note commission fee.
While Christanto made no complaints about his financial circumstances, the same cannot be said for the mysterious Mr M. Numerous faxes and emails from Christanto to Securency executives outline Mr M's concern about a delay in his payment, as well as the amount he said he was owed.
Christanto repeatedly contacted a senior Securency figure in mid-1999 to request that one of the company's top sales executives visit Jakarta to sort out the ''pending issue'' with Mr M, who ''calls me every day asking for the $US300,000''.
The correspondence shows Christanto documenting the visit of a senior Securency executive in August and an agreement to increase Mr M's payment to $US300,000. Christanto thanked top Securency figures in Melbourne for solving the problem, adding that it would help him and his Bank Indonesia friends prevent rival banknote manufacturers winning upcoming contracts.
On November 11, Christanto advised Securency that since it had agreed to match the commission rate it paid for the 100,000 rupiah contract for future tenders, Bank Indonesia officials had ''committed to help me and stop the paper [rival product] tender for the 20,000 and 50,000''. But Christanto was to prove unsuccessful and the contracts were not awarded to Securency.
Christanto outlined one further transaction between the RBA companies and Bank Indonesia in 1999. This time the Australian companies needed to pay because they were late in meeting the central bank's deadline to ensure it had enough banknotes stockpiled to deal with any Y2K problems.
According to Christanto's correspondence, both he and the RBA companies knew they could not meet Bank Indonesia's expectations when they signed the contract in May 1999. But it appears neither informed Bank Indonesia, with Christanto telling a Securency executive, ''before you sign the contract I dare not disclose the delivery problem''.
Later in the year, when it became apparent the RBA companies were running behind schedule, Bank Indonesia summoned senior Securency and NPA executives to Jakarta to explain themselves and work on some form of compensation.
In October, Christanto drafted a letter from Securency and NPA to Bank Indonesia in which they acknowledged ''some penalty payment is likely''. Over a game of golf, Christanto negotiated with his Bank Indonesia contacts that Securency would pay $US344,000.
He reported the arrangement back to Securency and NPA executives in Melbourne, telling them the money was likely to be split into ''official'' and ''unofficial'' amounts. It appears the money was paid.
IN ADDITION to his love of golf, Radius Christanto was also fond of using code names to describe himself. According to sources and documents, Christanto was known to RBA banknote executives and Bank Indonesia officials as ''Kaiser''. At Indonesia's state-owned currency printing factory, Perum Peruri, he was known as ''Napoleon'', according to a 2007 report in the leading Indonesian current affairs magazine, Tempo.
An investigation by Tempo nominated Christanto as a man with much influence at the Indonesian currency printing facility. He was, according to the magazine, for many years just about the only person a foreign company could go through to win supply contracts with Bank Indonesia and Perum Peruri.
The name ''Kaiser'' appears in Christanto's 1999 correspondence with Securency and NPA. When Christanto contacted Securency in July that year to request his commission payment be made into the nominated Singapore bank account, he asked for it to be marked to the attention of ''Kaiser''.
Other pieces of correspondence from Christanto to Securency/NPA refer to the mysterious sounding ''Kaiser Project''. What the Kaiser Project was is unclear.
Was it, perhaps, a plan by Christanto and the RBA companies to convince Bank Indonesia to award them more banknote contracts?
Christanto's correspondence does provide one certainty about the Kaiser Project: it was to be discussed over a round of golf with his Bank Indonesia friend, the mysterious ''Mr S''.