Getting his teeth into it: Former National Police chief detective Comr. Gen. Susno Duadji arrives at the House of Representatives to testify Thursday in a case of tax fraud that has implicated several top police officers. JP/Wendra Ajistyatama
Lawmakers have alleged a businessman has been running a case brokering network within the National Police, leaving almost no high-ranking police generals free from this web of alleged deals, fixes and illegality.
The businessman, dubbed by lawmakers as Syahrial Djohan, is among seven people pinpointed by former detective chief Comr. Gen. Susno Duadji as big-shot case brokers during a closed-door hearing Thursday with the House of Representatives’ Commission III on law and human rights.
Golkar Party lawmaker Bambang Soesatyo said after the hearing the brokers had close connections
with almost all police generals, and allegedly had orchestrated case investigations in the police force
“Syahrial has the ability to engineer high-profile cases at all levels; police investigations, prosecutions, and court verdicts.”
Bambang added Syahrial’s clout also covered high-ranking prosecutors and judges.
The commission’s chairman, Benny Kabur Harman of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party, confirmed Syahrial was pinpointed by Susno.
Syahrial, a retired civil servant at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, has close ties with National Police deputy chief Comr. Sr. (ret.) Makbul Padmanegara, according to Benny.
The whereabouts of Syahrial remain unknown amidst the allegations.
Earlier this week, detective chief Comr. Gen. Ito Sumardi confirmed that Syahrial had special ties to Makbul.
“As long as I know, Pak Syahrial has helped the police probe big cases.”
Lawmakers believe Syahrial was the “Mr. X” repeatedly mentioned by Susno for allegedly brokering
the case of low-ranking tax official Gayus Tambunan who evaded conviction for allegedly handling
Rp 28 billion (US$3 million) of illegal funds.
The broker, according to Susno, “fabricated” a testimony to help Gayus, saying funds he held were owned by businessman Andi Kosasih.
“Andi was only a ‘clown’ used by the syndicate. He is also used in other cases as well,” said Susno.
Susno also said during the hearing that the same Mr. X was also involved in a bigger case, with brokering to help a Singaporean company against Pekanbaru-based arowana farming company PT Salmah Arowana Lestari.
“It involves the same players [as in the Gayus case]; the detectives, the lawyer [Haposan Hutagalung], and the prosecutors. All of them are under the control of the same Mr. X,” Susno said.
He said the Arowana case involved bigger money than the Gayus case, and occurred while he was still serving as detective chief last year.
“The case should have been a civil lawsuit since it was more a business dispute than a crime. But the investigators insisted to proceed with it.”
The commission is due to seek clarification over names pinpointed to police chief Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri next week.
“The police chief must follow up these reports immediately. And take legal action against all brokers and officials involved in the network, regardless of their ranks,” said Bambang.
Critics are doubtful whether the police chief has the courage to take stern action as he would risk dragging his patron, Makbul, and his associates into the mess.
Sources at the police said Mak-bul, who retired in January, had played a big role in pushing Bambang’s career.
When Makbul served as Jakarta police chief between 2002 and 2004, he recruited Bambang as his chief detective, Edmond Ilyas as head detective for the economy, and Raja Erizman as head detective for general crime. Edmond and Raja were allegedly involved in helping Gayus escape justice.
The National Police are due to respond to Susno allegations on Friday.