Are Police Involved in Illegal Nickel Mining?


Several police officers were allegedly behind the illegal nickel mining mafia network. Tempo Magazine's report published on Jan 23 named several high-ranking police officers in the network, including Brigadier General Pipit Rismanto, Director of Certain Crimes at the Police Headquarters. In the confessions of nickel mining contractors in North Konawe, Southeast Sulawesi, Pipit was mentioned as backing illegal miners.

Another name mentioned was the Chief of the Indonesian National Police (Kapolri) General Listyo Sigit Prabowo. Listyo was named by Windu Aji, a 95 percent shareholder of PT Lawu Agung Mining, a company working on nickel on PT Aneka Tambang Tbk land in Mandiodo, Southeast Sulawesi. Neither Lawu Agung nor Antam had a Borrow-to-Use Forest Area Permit (IPPKH) when extracting nickel in the area. Windu mentioned Listyo's name as the owner of PT Lawu Agung to National Democratic Party (Nasdem) politician Akbar Faisal.

Another high-ranking officer is Deputy Head of the National Police Intelligence and Security Agency Inspector General Merdisyam. He is involved in the nickel mine through his wife, Libriana Dwi Arsanti, owner of PT Maesa Optimalah Mineral. This company operates a nickel mining road in the protected forest of Morombo Village, North Konawe, Southeast Sulawesi, which also does not have an IPPKH.

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