Indonesian fugitive 'arrested' in Colombia: official

JAKARTA, Aug 8, 2011 (AFP) - The ex-treasurer of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's party is believed to have been arrested in Colombia after weeks on the run from corruption allegations, officials said Monday.

Senior officials said Interpol had detained a man identical to disgraced Democratic Party former treasurer Nazaruddin after an international manhunt.

"Last night... we received information from our ambassador in Colombia that someone suspected to be Nazaruddin has been arrested by Interpol in Colombia," security affairs coordinating minister Djoko Suyanto told reporters.

The suspect was arrested in Cartagena city and had been flown to the capital Bogota to await a meeting with Indonesian police, who would fly to Colombia as soon as possible to verify his identity, officials said.

"So far, based on findings of investigations in Cartagena city, the suspect is identical with Nazaruddin. The suspect used a passport with a false identity," Suyanto said.

Nazaruddin has been on the run since May when anti-graft investigators linked him to a bribery scandal involving contracts on a 23-million-dollar athletes' village for the Southeast Asian Games scheduled in November.

The 32-year-old allegedly demanded bribes worth around three million dollars to approve the contracts, according to The Jakarta Post newspaper. Three other people have been arrested over the scandal.

Nazaruddin initially flew to neighbouring Singapore -- a common destination for Indonesian corruption suspects -- before leaving the city-state last month and disappearing.

Wearing a hat and speaking from an unknown location, he recently appeared on Indonesian television making graft allegations against several high-ranking officials from the Democratic Party.

Yudhoyono has won two elections on the back of promises to stamp out corruption in Indonesia, which according to independent watchdog Transparency International is one of the world's most corrupt countries.

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