Thu, 04 Mar 1999

BATAN cooperatives to sue developer

JAKARTA (JP): Workers cooperatives of the National Atomic Energy Agency (BATAN) will sue private developer, PT Roma Permai Abdina, for an alleged swindle involving more than Rp 1 billion, a lawyer said on Wednesday.

Lawyer Firmansyah Arifin of the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute who met with cooperative executives on the same day, said his client will also report the housing developer to the police.

"Our client repeatedly asked the developer to return the down payment, but they have not received a satisfactory response. So the cooperatives decided to take legal action," Firmansyah said.

He said the cooperatives would ask the court to seize 5 hectares in Curug village, Bogor, as well as other assets belonging to the developer.

"We will also report the developer's management to the police."

He said the cooperatives signed an agreement with the developer in September, 1994, to build 350 houses of the 21- square-meter type in Curug village.

In the agreement, the cooperatives were responsible for processing the permits for land appropriation in the village, while the developer was to provide the funds, he said.

Without providing details on the permit processing, Firmansyah said that the cooperatives had paid a down payment to the developer to build the houses.

Construction on the project was expected to be completed in 1997.

"But until now, not a single house has been built by the firm," he said.

Company representatives could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

According to Firmansyah, the cooperatives often asked the developer to return the down payment, but the firm continued to delay the payment.

He said the developer paid the cooperative Rp 150 million following a meeting in the State Minister of Public Housing's office last year.

"But since then the developer has reneged on the remainder, which totals more than Rp 1 billion."

He said 350 employees of BATAN had paid at least Rp 4 million each for the down payment.

"They only hope that their money will be refunded," he added. (jun)