Indonesia’s fisheries minister was arrested on November 25 in a sweeping bust over allegations of graft linked to exporting baby lobsters, the anti-corruption agency said.
Edhy Prabowo was nabbed early on November 25 along with his lawmaker wife, Iis Rosita Dewi, at Jakarta’s international airport as they returned from a trip to the US.
The couple were among 17 people arrested on allegations that they took bribes for issuing permits to export the crustaceans, investigators said.
This year, Edhy gave a green light to restarting baby lobster exports, a practice banned under his predecessor due to sustainability concerns.
“The arrest is related to a baby lobster export [permit],” Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) head Nurul Ghufron told AFP, without elaborating.
Edhy is the highest-ranking official to be arrested in a corruption case during President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s second term.
Corruption remains widespread in the Southeast Asian nation, and its parliament is seen as one of the most graft-riddled institutions.
In June, Indonesia’s former sports minister was jailed for seven years after being found guilty of taking some $800,000 in bribes.
Jokowi pledged to tackle corruption as he kicked off a second term last year.
On November 25, he said: “I believe the KPK will work transparently, openly and professionally [on Edhy’s case].
“The government always supports any prevention and corruption eradication efforts,” he added.