Mon, 10 Apr 2000

Companies alleged in fuel fraud

MAKASSAR, South Sulawesi: The provincial legislature revealed on Saturday the involvement of three fuel delivery companies and a gas station in the distribution of a blend of gasoline kerosene, and diesel fuel.

Councilor Ambas Syam told The Jakarta Post that he suspected the fraud was committed by a syndicate which apparently involved local police and the nation-gas provider PT Pertamina.

"It could become a national case," Ambas said.

Ambas said that owners of fuel delivery companies PT Ira Sitaba Utama, PT Nurul Hasanah, PT Karya Manunggal and Mandai gas station have been questioned by police. He added several councilors had received threats to close the case.

"But, we won't step back," Ambas said.

The case was unveiled last week when the local branch of the Indonesian Consumers' Foundation told police about the illicit practices.

Chief of Makassar Police Col. Aryanto Budihardjo said the police had collected enough evidence to bring the case to trial. (01/27)