Mon, 31 Oct 1994

Govt to probe export document scandal fully

JAKARTA (JP): Attorney General Singgih promised Saturday that the scandalous falsification of export documents that caused the state to lose millions of dollars in unpaid taxes will be thoroughly investigated.

"We mean to unravel the scandal and spare no one involved in it from legal actions," Singgih told reporters after opening a seminar on youth and law co-organized by his office and the University of Indonesia.

He made the remarks in response to reporters' questions about the newly discovered falsification of export documents involving two subsidiaries of PT Detta Marina and a private bank.

PT Detta Marina is a garment export company owned by businessman Kim Johannes Mulia, who is currently being investigated in connection with the bogus export documents scandal.

Two of its subsidiaries, PT Indoniarta Utama and PT Karindaraya Jaya, reportedly issued five export documents worth Rp 6.5 billion ($2.9 million) which were approved by the bank. The shipments of the garments were never recorded at the Jakarta port of Tanjung Priok.

Previously, PT Detta Marina had issued a total of 12 forged documents certifying shipments of garments from Tanjung Priok to Singapore. However, Kim has repaid the amounts stated in the documents, worth a total of Rp 16 billion ($7.3 million).

According to the results of preliminary investigations leaked to the press, Kim falsified the export documents in an effort to obtain loans from the state-owned Bank Pembangunan Indonesia (Bapindo).

The probe has found indications that the export documents stated that Kim's company had shipped garments to Singapore, when no such shipments occurred.

Kim has admitted to the government investigators that he falsified export documents in an effort to obtain credit from Bapindo, sources at the Attorney General's Office said.


Kim also reportedly said that he used the credit to improve the performance of his Bogor-based PT Detta Marina.

The government has slapped an overseas travel ban on Kim, who also operates his business from Singapore, until the investigation is completed. He has yet to be arrested.

"We cannot just arrest him without hard evidence of a crime, because this would have an impact on the investigation results," Singgih said.

The authorities must also consider other aspects, such as the welfare of the company's employees, before taking action. The most important thing is that those involved in the scandal have to be held responsible, he added.

Singgih said those involved in forging the export documents will be brought to trial, adding that his office will not hesitate to do so although it may involve government officials.

A former deputy attorney general, whose identity is being withheld, is reportedly a member of the board of commissioners at PT Detta Marina. (imn)