Fri, 19 Mar 1999

11 arrested for alleged Rp 22.8b tax scam

JAKARTA (JP): Jakarta Police detectives have arrested 11 people for alleged involvement in a Rp 22.8 billion (US$2.59 million) taxation scam at private company PT Telekomunikasi Selular (Telkomsel), an officer said on Wednesday.

Jakarta Police detectives chief Col. Alex Bambang Riatmodjo announced that the 11 suspects consisted of three staff members of Telkomsel communications operator, three staff members of the Taxation Office and five employees of state and private banks.

"Police so far have confiscated some Rp 2 billion cash from K, one of 11 suspects," he said.

Alex, who was escorted by other detectives, displayed the money to reporters. It was in Rp 50,000 notes and stored in three cartons, each measuring 40 centimeters by 30 centimeters and 25 centimeters deep, and three plastic boxes.

"We're still trying to seize another Rp 11.6 billion from K, who's a brother of a staffer at Bank X," the officer said.

According to Alex, the police were having difficulty confiscating the remaining amount of money because it was kept in different saving accounts at different banks.

Based on a preliminary police investigation, the gang apparently carried out the misdeeds since November last year until last month.

The 11 suspects were recently arrested on different occasions at various locations in Jakarta and the West Java capital of Bandung.

Alex refused to give details of the scam but reports said that the three Telkomsel officials, who were assigned to pay the company's tax worth some Rp 7 billion per month, took the money to the banks and instead of transferring it to the taxation department's account, handed the money to their accomplices at the banks.

The bank employees, with help from accomplices at the Taxation Office, issued fake receipts for taxation payment.

The money was then transferred to the gang member's savings accounts.

The police became aware of the scam after one of the gang members, who received an unequal share of the money, reported the crime to the police three weeks ago.

Alex said the police were still investigating the case to discover the roles of other suspects. (01/bsr)