Indonesia’s fisheries minister was arrested Wednesday in a sweeping bust over allegations of graft linked to exporting baby lobsters, the anti-corruption agency said.
Edhy Prabowo was nabbed early Wednesday along with his lawmaker wife, Iis Rosita Dewi, at Jakarta’s international airport as they returned from a trip to the United States.
The couple were among 17 people arrested on allegations that they took bribes for issuing permits to export the crustaceans, investigators said.
This year, Prabowo 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.
Prabowo is the highest-ranking official to be arrested in a corruption case during President Joko 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.
Widodo pledged to tackle corruption as he kicked off a second term last year.
“I believe the KPK (Corruption Eradication Commission) will work transparently, openly and professionally” in Prabowo’s case, Widodo said Wednesday.
“The government always supports any prevention and corruption eradication efforts,” he added.