Environmental and Humanitarian Crime Behind the Octopus Harita Business Group

Harita Group is an Indonesian conglomerate business owned and managed by the Lim Hariyanto Wijaya Sarwono family. The Harita group is engaged in the natural resources sector, starting from nickel mining, bauxite, coal, palm oil plantations, to shipping and logging.

Lim Hariyanto has seven children, three of whom—Lim Gunawan Hariyanto, Lim Gunardi Hariyanto, and Lim Christina Hariyanto- held the most significant roles in several of his companies. Lim Hariyanto Wijaya Sarwono is included in the Forbes list of the 50 richest people in Indonesia for 2022, placing 36th, with private assets reaching US $ 1.1 billion or equivalent to Rp. 17.1 trillion.

In July 2020, Lim Hariyanto Sarwono was summoned by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) regarding the mining permit corruption case committed by Aswad Sulaiman, Regent of North Konawe for the 2007-2009 and 2011-2016 elected periods, which caused losses to the state finances of up to IDR 2.7 trillion.

The owner of the Harita Group was summoned as a witness in the mining licensing bribery case that was committed by Aswad Sulaiman while serving as Regent of North Konawe. However, Lim Hariyanto withdrew from the KPK summons for no apparent reason. Up to this time, information about Lim Hariyanto Sarwono’s connection with mining corruption committed by Aswad Sulaiman has just evaporated.

Not only stumbled corruption in mining permits, the Harita Group was also recorded as having neither paid infrastructure taxes to South Halmahera Regency in 2022. This was revealed when the Head of the KPK Region V Supervision Task Force, Dian Patria, conducted a visit to the Harita Group on Obi Island.

The Harita Group is also known closely to be associated with the military in Indonesia. During the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Koramil post office and a visit to Harita’s operational area on Obi Island in 2018, Commander in Chief of The Regional Military, Mayor General (Pangdam Mayjen) Patimura. Suko Pranoto clearly stated his support for Harita’s presence on Obi Island. What is more onto that, he also asked the community to continue to support all activities carried out by the company.

In fact, last December 2020, the Harita Group provided assistance of IDR 1 billion for the TNI Military Academy which was received directly by the Governor of the Military Academy Major General TNI Totok Imam Santoso. The assistance was handed over by Former Major General TNI (Purnawirawan) Meris Wiryadi representing the Harita Group.

TNI Major General (Purnawirawan) Meris Wiryadi, former Commander in Chief of TNI Headquarters in 2016, listed as director of PT Megah Surya Pertiwi, Harita’s nickel smelter on Obi Island, North Maluku; and President Director of PT Gema Kreasi Perdana, a Harita Group nickel mining company on Wawonii Island, Southeast Sulawesi.

So, what are the traces of environmental and human crimes behind the Harita Group’s business octopus? Read more:

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