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Indonesia: Head of immigration at Jakarta airport arrested for taking bribes

Head of Immigration at Jakarta airport, Rochadi Iman Santoso, suspected of accepting bribes to forge court documents

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Passengers queue to have their passports checked at Jakarta airport in July 2003. This week Indonesian police arrested the head of immigration at Jakarta airport on suspicion of issuing fake travel documents in exchange for bribes. (BAY ISMOYO /AFP/Getty Images)

Indonesian police have arrested the head of immigration at Jakarta airport on suspicion of forging travel documents in return for bribes, local media is reporting.

The Jakarta Post says that Rochadi Iman Santoso allegedly issued a document for a Singaporean businessman falsely stating that he had arrived in Indonesia in August 2009 and departed the next day.

The document was used in a court case involving the businessman, named as Toh Ke Ngsiong, and Indonesian bank PT Makindo.

The Jakarta Globe quotes the Jakarta Police spokesman, Sr. Comr. Rikwanto, as saying that the letter had been requested by Ngsiong's lawyers.

“The fact is, Ngsiong never came here, but there was a letter [stating that he did] that was signed by R.I.S.,” Rikwanto reportedly said, referring to Rochadi by his initials.

Investigators for Makindo questioned the authenticity of the document and approached the airlines named in the document to confirm that Ngsiong had not made the trip.

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Rochadi’s arrest is being seen as the first real step to address widespread corruption among immigration officials, the Jakarta Post says.

AFP says "official graft is rampant in Indonesia", which has a population of about 240 million people scattered across over 17,000 islands.

The news agency adds that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's popularity has steadily fallen throughout his second term as the public loses faith in his fight against corruption.

It quotes a Gallup poll from October 2011 which found that 91 percent of Indonesians believe corruption in government is widespread, compared to 84 percent in 2006.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/indonesia/120227/indonesia-head-immigration-at-jakarta-airport-ar