Wed, 31 Aug 1994

Govt to probe Kanindo's fake export documents

JAKARTA (JP): Minister of Industry Tunky Ariwibowo promised yesterday to investigate a potential rescuer of the debt-ridden Kanindo Group which has been linked to the issue of fake export documents.

"We are investigating the allegations," he said, in response to questions about 'the fake export document scandal.'

Speaking to journalists following his meeting with Minister of Finance Mar'ie Muhammad, Tunky said that the government is looking into what measures need to be taken to rescue the ailing Kanindo Group.

During the meeting, Tunky said that he and the Minister of Finance spoke at length about different ways to settle the Kanindo Group's bad debts to state banks Bank Bumi Daya (BBD) and Bank Pembangunan Indonesia (Bapindo).

"Unfortunately, we cannot not discuss them with the press," he said.

A textile businessman, one of possible rescuers of the Kanindo Group, was alleged to have issued fake export documents to support his loan application at Bapindo. He was accused of raising loans to finance the rescue plan through illegal procedures.

The businessman, together with former Salim group executive, Yohannes Kotjo, signed an agreement recently to rescue the ailing Kanindo Group. The Kanindo group is a consortium of textile companies owned by Robby Tjahyadi, who is reported to have debts amounting to approximately Rp 500 billion at Bapindo and BBD.

The group of the businessmen agreed to inject fresh funds of around Rp 850 million (US$390,600) per day within six months beginning Aug. 1 to prevent the Kanindo Group from collapsing.

Achmad Dakyan Su'ud, an executive of Bapindo, neither confirmed nor denied the allegation, saying that the charge should be addressed to the directorate general of customs and excise duties.

Suhardjo, the director general of customs and excise duties, said that he needs at least a week to ascertain whether his officials were involved in the alleged impropriety.

"If our men were involved, they will be punished according to existing rules," he said when asked to confirm the allegation.

According to a consultant who insisted on anonymity, the garment businessman used false export documents to support his credit applications to Bapindo.

One of the export documents produced by the consultant to back up his claim stipulates the export of 20,600 jackets, their FOB value, the names of the exporting firm and the importing company based in Singapore as well as the name of the ship which carried the goods.


The document dated April 19, 1994 bears three signatures, two of Bapindo executives and the third of an executive at the garment exporting company. It also bears the stamped name of a customs official, Nasrul Abdullah, but without his signature.

The consultant claimed that the name of the ship stipulated in the document is also fake since records showed that no freighter using such a name loaded export goods at Tanjung Priok port on the stated date.

The consultant also alleged that the Singapore-based buyer was actually a subsidiary of an Indonesian garment exporter who runs several other textile businesses in the country.

The consultant alleged that the Indonesian garment exporter, who lives in Singapore, obtained at least US$7.64 million in loans from Bapindo related to 12 fake export documents on April 19 alone.

Dakyan, the deputy head of the bureau of directors of the scandal-ridden Bapindo, questioned the credibility of the consultant, but confirmed that two of the signatories to the document were Bapindo officials.

He acknowledged that his bank relies on information provided by the customs and excise office about the delivery of exports.

"It is almost impossible for us to carry out field investigations to verify the authenticity of export documents," he said, adding that the validity of export documents should normally be ascertained by the directorate general of customs and excise.

Suhardjo promised to investigate his man's possible involvement in the alleged manipulation.

"Give me a week," he told reporters at his office.

Three former presidents of Bapindo are now on trial for their alleged involvement in the widely published credit scandal centering around Eddy Tansil, the boss of the chemical-based Golden Key business group.

Tansil was recently sentenced to 17 years in jail for his role in the scam, which cost the state bank an estimated $448 million.

The former manager of Bapindo's Jakarta branch was sentenced to nine years in jail for his involvement. (hen)