Tax scandal should ‘lead
to eradication of case

Noted lawyer Adnan Buyung Nasution, the defense counsel for disgraced tax official Gayus Tambunan, has urged the National Police to dig deeper to unearth all case-brokering syndicates in the country.

“This case is a golden opportunity… for Indonesia to uncover practices that have been tainting our law enforcement institutions for years on end, which is very embarrassing,” he told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.

On Saturday he announced his decision to agree to be the defense attorney for Gayus, the suspect in a money laundering, tax evasion and embezzlement case. Adnan said Gayus “will have to spill the beans on all the people in his network [of case tampering] and other networks as well… in return for my handling of the case”.

“I told Gayus, ‘the truth has to be revealed, only then can justice be served. If you only tell a part of the truth, it is more evil than the crime itself’,” he said.

The case came to light in late March when former National Police detective chief Comr. Gen. Susno Duadji said that last year, when he was still chief detective, his division received a report from the Financial Transactions Report and Analysis Center about Rp 28 billion (US$3.08 million) in an account owned by Gayus, who was then in charge of investigating tax appeals by individuals and legal bodies.

Gayus was charged with money laundering and embezzling Rp 395 million.

In March, however, the Tangerang District Court acquitted him of all charges, citing a lack of evidence.
Adnan urged the police to start taking action and investigate deeper to uncover other players in the case.

“They should learn from Gayus’ case and his modus operandi. They have to see if the same pattern is used by other Gayuses,” he said.

Adnan also recommended scrutinizing big tax-paying firms to see if there were discrepancies between their incomes and taxes paid.

He said the police have made commitments to go after big players.

“National Police chief Bambang Hendarso Danuri and chief detective Ito Sumardi of the National Police have agreed to do so,” he added.

But Susno warned of the lack of police commitment to reform.

For example he recently alleged that practices such as taking illegal fees from lower-ranking officers were widespread in the police force.

“The revolving illegal fees force lower-ranking officers to aggressively extort members of the public by framing them,” he said.

Corruption practices, he added, have therefore intensified within the force.

He also gave a major hint  about a case broker who operated inside the police force. The broker or “the big fish”, as Susno called him, had his own room located between the offices of the police chief and the deputy police chief, he said.

Adnan said he sought to open up tampering syndicate cases not only in the tax office, but in other government institutions, including the police, Attorney General’s Office and state pawn company PT Pegadaian.

“I do have big hopes that something big would come out of Gayus’ case. For now I’m prioritizing my target [to uncover the syndicates] in the tax office,” he added.

“This thing is like a tangled thread. If you can find one of its ends, you can untangle the other ends,” he said.

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