Sat, 01 Oct 1994

Investigation of Kim Johannes progresses

JAKARTA (JP): The Attorney General's Office yesterday said it is making major progress in its investigation of fraud allegations involving businessman Kim Johannes.

Deputy Attorney General for Special Crimes A. Soetomo told reporters that government investigators have established that Kim illegally obtained an export loan from a government owned bank.

The government however will not move to prosecute the businessman, operating out of Singapore, until it can ascertain the precise amount of state losses, he said.

The investigation determined that 12 export documents issued by PT Detta Marina were forged, referring to the textile company owned by Kim.

Soetomo said the conclusion was made after investigators questioned Kim on two occasions and cross-examined his information with various documents including reports from the Directorate General of Customs and Excise and Bank Pembangunan Indonesia (Bapindo) which gave Kim the loan.

Earlier reports suggested that Kim forged documents certifying shipments of garments which never took place. These documents were used to support his application with Bapindo for an export credit last April.

Kim made headline last month when he, along with businessman Johannes Kotjo, was mentioned as a possible buyer of the troubled Kanindo giant textile enterprise belonging to the controversial businessman Robby Tjahjadi.

Kim and Johannes pulled out of the deal when the government ruled that the GKBI, the association of batik manufacturing cooperatives, should take over the management of Kanindo.

It was in the middle of this takeover deal that the allegations of fraud by Kim's company surfaced in the press.

The Attorney General's office has not arrested Kim for lack of evidence but has been quietly conducting an investigation into the allegations.

For Bapindo, the allegations represent yet another scandal after the loss of Rp 1.3 trillion ($620 million) through its dealings with businessman Eddy Tansil. (02)