Tue, 25 Oct 1994

Ex-Bapindo boss faces 14 years imprisonment

JAKARTA (JP): The state prosecutor asked the South Jakarta District Court yesterday to sentence Towil Heryoto, a former director of state-owned Bank Pembangunan Indonesia (Bapindo), to 14 years in prison.

"We demand that the presiding judge sentence Towil Heryoto to 14 years' imprisonment for continuously allowing irregularities to occur at Bapindo," Chief Prosecutor Taslim Hasyim said.

"We also appeal to the judges to order Towil to pay a fine of Rp 30 million ($13,729.9), or sentence him to an additional six months in prison," he added.

The prosecutors also asked the court to seize material evidence, including several of Towil's bank accounts, documents of share ownership worth Rp 209 million ($95,652.2), a house in Bogor, West Java, and a 2,150-hectare plot of land in Pati, East Java.

The prosecutors did not ask the court to order Towil to repay the state assets he was responsible for losing in restitution.

"We cannot determine the sum of the state losses he has caused," Taslim said.

He said in his indictment that Towil neglected banking principles on orderliness, allowing Maman Suparman, former deputy manager of Bapindo Jakarta, to convert the letter of credit (L/C) from Usance into Red Clause without the directors' approval. This is against the law.

Maman has already been sentenced to nine years imprisonment by the same court.


Taslim said that Towil also neglected the principle of carefulness in approving the request of businessman Eddy Tansil, the owner of the Golden Key Group, to open the Usance L/C facilities, which were used to finance the group's petrochemical projects. He approved the facility without any prior sales contract, credit agreement, or clear deposit, Taslim said.

Tansil was sentenced to 17 years' imprisonment by the Central Jakarta District Court last August in connection with the Rp 1.3 trillion (US$620 million) scam. He had cashed in on his Bapindo loans without ever signing a single contract for them. He was also ordered to pay Rp 500 million ($228 million) in restitution and a fine of Rp 30 million.

Taslim said that on June 16, 1992, Towil and four of the bank's other directors collectively approved granting new banker's acceptances (B/A) to the group up to the credit ceiling of $476.6 million. At a previous meeting on May 28, the bank's director had decided that the preliminary issuance of B/A up to $208.1 million was a violation of the bank's regulation. Bapindo had already lost Rp 962.4 billion ($ 448.8 million) by August 1994 after the bank's failure to pay Tansil's business group's overdue debt.

Three other former Bapindo directors, Subekti Ismaun, Sjahrizal and Bambang Kuntjoro, are currently being tried on similar corruption charges.

Adi Sugondho, another director, has not been charged apparently because he was not as extensively involved as the other four. (imn)