Wed, 29 Mar 2000

Bimantoro says 'B 1 MA does not belong to me anymore'

JAKARTA (JP): National Police deputy chief Maj. Gen. Bimantoro said on Tuesday that B 1 MA, the controversial registration number which earlier belonged to a city resident and was allegedly sold off to him for a price, did not belong to him anymore.

"That number does not belong to me ... anymore," Bimantoro told reporters at National Police Headquarters.

"I will speak to city police chief (Maj. Gen. Nurfaizi) to sort out this mess caused by the junior officers of the city police traffic department."

Number B 1 MA, which was the registration for a green metallic Land Cruiser on March 17 this year, had allegedly been sold by the city traffic police to Bimantoro, a source said.

Nyoman persistently denied on Tuesday that the number was used both by the owner of a Land Cruiser, identified as Charles A. Riri Masse, a resident of Jl. Pejaten Barat IIC, Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, and Bimantoro, who owns a Mercedes Benz.

The number was originally given in 1983 to Beni Basuki Effendi, who lives on Jl. Jati Luhur Tanah Manisan, for his 1982 blue hardtop.

That number was changed to B 1 BI.

On March 17, Charles A. Riri Masse paid Rp 53 million (US$7,066) for the vehicle ownership conversion fee (BBN), and received the number B 1 MA.

A source said that on March 21 a top police general (Bimantoro) at National Police Headquarters made a proposal to Nyoman to buy that number.

"Another proposal was made by the same general to the City Revenue Agency, so that the police officer could be freed of car tax," the source said.

Then, the city traffic police were offering to buy the registration number for the general for Rp 80 million. The general then asked for some concessions.

"He (Bimantoro) was also informed by the City Revenue Agency that if he wanted to be freed of taxes (for the car) to forward the proposal to the revenue agency's headquarters."

Nevertheless, when reporters checked out the registration number at the traffic police, it was found out that the adjutant of the general had already taken the number for the general.

"So, there is a Mercedes Benz with the car registration number B 1 MA, and also a Land Cruiser with the same number," the officer said. (ylt)