Tue, 25 Oct 1994

Kim Johannes admits forging export papers

JAKARTA (JP): Businessman Kim Johannes Mulia, the owner of PT Detta Marina, has told government investigators that he had forged documents in order to obtain credit for his bogus export activities from the state-owned Bank Pembangunan Indonesia (Bapindo).

"Kim has admitted to the investigators that he forged export documents in an effort to obtain credit from Bapindo," Chairul Imam, the acting spokesman for the Attorney General's Office said yesterday.

Chairul also said that Kim had used the credit to increase the performance of his Jakarta-based garment export company, PT Detta Marina.

He said that the government is serious in handling the case. "We have no doubt in investigating it," he said in response to reporters' questions.

Chairul said he did not know whether any private bank was involved in the export scam. According to a reliable source, the private bank charged a two-percent fee to Detta Marina for every export document it issued.

He said that the Attorney General's Office had obtained the results of the Central Bank's investigation into the case from the Central Bank.

Chairul said that Kim has been questioned four times so far in connection with the allegations.

He said that according to preliminary investigations, Kim forged documents that stated his company had shipped garments to Singapore. Kim used the documents to later obtain loans from Bapindo.

The government investigators are also looking into the possibility of collusion between Kim and the officials of the bank.

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

However, Chairul said Kim had not been arrested.

"We will only arrest a criminal suspect after we have enough evidence to do so," he said.

By imposing the travel ban the authorities wanted to prevent Kim from leaving the country, he added.

The Rp 1.3 trillion ($620 million) loan scandal at the state bank is not over yet, although its directors and former directors have already been questioned in connection with the case.


Deputy Attorney General for Special Crimes A. Soetomo recently said that in connection with the fictitious export document scandal, the Attorney General's Office had questioned several Bapindo executives, including its former directors.

Four former Bapindo directors are on trial for their alleged role in allowing Eddy Tansil, a convicted industrialist, to siphon off the huge loan from the bank.

They are Subekti Ismaun, Towil Heryoto, Sjahrizal and Bambang Kuntjoro.

Attorney General Singgih had earlier said that the investigators are convinced that Kim had committed a crime but have not yet ascertained the extent of the losses suffered by the state.

Once this is discovered, the government will press formal charges against the businessman.

There were a total of 12 forged documents certifying shipments of garments from the Jakarta port of Tanjung Priok to Singapore, according to Singgih.

Kim, who has not been available for comment concerning the allegations, has been cooperating with investigators and has paid back Rp 16 billion ($7.3 million) of the Rp 500 billion loan he obtained from Bapindo, according to officials at the Attorney General's Office.

Kim made headlines last month when he, along with businessman Johannes Kotjo, were rumored to be potential buyers of the troubled Kanindo textile enterprise belonging to businessman Robby Tjahjadi, another controversial businessman. (imn)