Jakarta – Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) has found indications of connections between political party members, public officials and businesspeople in the use of the drug Ivermectin to treat Covid-19.
Presidential Chief of Staff (KSP) Moeldoko and ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician Ribka Tjiptaning Proletariyati were cited in ICW's findings.
"The company [PT Harsen Laboratories] has a relationship with a number of parties including among them politicians and public officials", said ICW researcher Egi Primayogha during a discussion titled "Rentierism in the Mist of a Crisis" which was held virtually on Thursday July 22.
As has been reported, PT Harsen Laboratories came under the public spotlight after the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) carried out an unannounced inspection of the company's warehouses. The BPOM suspects that the company has been producing illegal Ivermectin under the trade name Ivermax 12.
Primayogha said that PT Harsen Laboratories has a number of politically linked officials including Herman Sunaryo, husband and wife Haryoseno and Runi Adianti, Iskandar Purnomohadi and Sofia Koswara.
Haryoseno and Adianti were cited in a Panama Papers document and are known to be affiliated with a shell company called Unix Capital Ltd which is based in the British Virgin Islands.
Sofia Koswara is the deputy president of PT Harsen Laboratories and has been cited as having a position with Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care (FLCCC), one member of which is Budhi Antariksa who is also on the Ivermectin clinical test team and a presidential doctor.
In addition to this, Koswara has an affiliation with PT Noorpay Perkasa and is listed as a director and shareholder with the company.
"PT Noorpay Perkasa has a connection with KSP Moeldoko. One of the PT Noorpay shareholders aside from Sofia is Joanina Rachma, Moeldoko's daughter. Joanina is a majority shareholder. She is also known as a special and expert presidential staff member", said Primayogha.
"Sofia's connection with Moeldoko has also been seen on several occasions, including when PT Noorpay Perkasa cooperated with the Indonesian Farmers Association (HKTI) in the export of rice. Moeldoko is the general chairperson of the HKTI", he added.
CNN Indonesia has tried to contact Moeldoko to ask for clarification on ICW's findings but as of this report being published has not yet received a response.
According to ICW, the polemic over the use of Ivermectin to treat Covid-19 also involves Ribka Tjiptaning. Primayogha highlighted the name Riyo Kristian Utomo, the marketing director of PT Harsen Laboratories and Tjiptaning's son.
"Riyo's name appears as a PT Harsen official. After we followed this up it turned out that Riyo was PDI-P politician Ribka Tjiptaning's son, a member of the DPR [House of Representatives] who's name became controversial when they rejected the vaccination program", said Primayogha.
Primayogha explained that Tjiptaning links with PT Harsen could also be seen when the company provided aid in the form of basic commodities and face shields to Tjiptaning. This, said Primayogha, was discovered based on an armature video found by ICW.
"So this begs the question. What actually was Ribka's deeper role in the Ivermectin issue and was it even bigger still, did the PDI-P [also] play a role in it", said Primayogha.
"Did Ribka act in the interests of the party or in her own interests. But, whatever the case, Ribka is still listed as a PDI-P member, she has a position in the party, so whatever she has done it cannot be separated from the PDI-P", he added.
When sought for clarification, Proletariyati downplayed ICW's findings. "I know some PT Harsen officials but not very well", Proletariyati told CNN Indonesia.
Harsen Laboratories marketing director Riyo Kristian Utomo once questioned the BPOM's motivations in obstructing the distribution of Ivermectin as a people's weapon in the war against Covid-19.
Recently however, the company, which was established in 1971, expressed an apology over the polemic around Ivermectin. The apology was specifically directed at the BPOM.
In its latest press release on the issue, the BPOM again asserted that it not yet authorised Ivermectin to be used as a Covid-19 therapy. Ivermectin is still being investigated in clinical trials at eight government designated hospitals. (ryn/ain)
A number of Indonesian officials have promoted the use of the anti-parasite medication Ivermectin as a potential treatment for the coronavirus, including Moeldoko, who claimed that according to the FLCCC Brazil, Japan and India have effectively used Ivermectin to overcome their Covid-19 crisis. He also claimed that it was effective in treating Covid-19 patients in Depok, East Semarang, Sragen and Kudus. Moeldoko has since denied the ICW's findings on his alleged links to PT Harsen Laboratories. "This is a dangerous accusation because I have no relation with it [the company]", Tempo quoted him as saying on July 22.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "ICW Sentil Moeldoko dan Ribka Tjiptaning Terkait Ivermectin".]