Coca-Cola Indonesia Investigated for Illegal Water Usage
By Farouk Arnaz
Jakarta Globe
February 17, 2014

Jakarta: The Indonesian police is probing into a case of alleged illegal water usage by Coca-Cola Bottling Indonesia, the soft drink manufacturer and distributor, in Sumedang, in West Java.

Coca-Cola Bottling Indonesia (CCBI) is a joint venture company and largely owned by Sydney-based Coca-Cola Amatil, one of the largest bottlers and distributors of Coca-Cola products in the world, according to the company’s website.

Senior commissioner Nurullah, a deputy director at the National Police’s criminal investigation unit (Bareskrim), said on Monday that the company allegedly continued using water resources from the area despite its expired license.

“Their license … is not being renewed by the ESDM [Energy and Mineral Resources] office in West Java. We came across this piece of information during our investigation,” he explained. He did not elaborate on when the license expired.

The police has questioned three CCBI employees as witnesses in the case, including Ambrosius Padang Durmandito, an employee at CCBI Sumedang; M. Edi Isdwiarto, human resources director at CCBI Jakarta; and Budiawan Anggrahitono, national human resources operation manager at CCBI Jakarta.

“We interrogated them last week. God willing, there will be no delays or interruptions to the case as the chief of Bareskrim [General Commissioner Suhardi Alius] briefed us to stay on track,” Nurullah said. He added that the police has yet to name any suspects in the matter.

Nurullah said that the police will hold a hearing later this week, in which they will also hear experts’ opinions.

The police first began investigating CCBI Sumedang in September last year after receiving information the company had tapped three water springs without a proper license. CCBI has taken large amounts of water from the springs, an unnamed investigator told Beritasatu.com last week.

The case is not the first to surface regarding CCBI’s water usage. In September last year, local media reports suggested Sumedang district government’s working unit had made an impromptu visit to the plant to investigate the company’s water usage from the nearby Cimande river.

However, CCBI insisted it had been conducting business in line with regulations and the law.

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