March 18, 2021, 02.03 PM

KOMPAS.com - The former head of the Indragiri Hulu Attorney Office Hayin Suhikno was sentenced to five years imprisonment after found guilty of extorting 64 Indonesian school principals in Riau province on Wednesday, March 17.

Two of Hayin’s former subordinate had also been found guilty of their involvement in the extortion case.

The case came to light when 64 school principals in Indragiri Hulu regency had resigned en masse on July 14 last year, saying that they could not afford the pressure on managing the government-led school operational aid (BOS). They said that they were disturbed by individuals when managing the assistance funds.

Also readBaca juga: 64 Indonesian School Principals in a Regency Resign En Masse on Extortion Woes

“There’s an allegation that law enforcement individuals tried to extort money from the principals. This is a serious matter that we will investigate further,” Head of Inspectorate Office at the Indragiri Hulu regency Boyke Sitinjak said at the time.

Upon hearing the resignation, the Indragiri Hulu Education Agency was also surprised because many tasks must be taken care of as schools have just started the school year amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As the education agency head, I was surprised because we have just started the school year on July 13, 2020, amid the Covid-19 pandemic,” Acting head of Indragiri Hulu Education Agency Ibrahim Alimin said, adding that there were some student report cards and certificates that needed to be signed.

Ibrahim said that the school principals would prefer to become ordinary teachers as they were disturbed by individuals when managing the assistance funds. They were extorted of up to tens of millions of rupiahs.

Also read: Anti-Graft Agency Probes Alleged Extortion Try on School Principals in Riau Province

“They resigned because they felt that they were disturbed [by individuals] when managing the school operational aid. They don’t manage a big amount of money as some schools receive the annual funds of 56 million rupiahs ($3,800), 53 million rupiahs ($3,600), and 200 million rupiahs ($13,800),” Ibrahim said.

At the time, they had to wait for the Indragiri Hulu regent to decide after the resignation letters were handed over.

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