Tax official implicated
in billboard scheme

The City Administration Legal Bureau will not provide an attorney for tax agency official Bawong
Sugihadi after his arrest on allegations of corruption involving outdoor advertising licenses, a bureau official says.

“As civil servants, we are not authorized to represent clients as attorneys in corruption cases,” legal bureau head Sri Rahayu told The Jakarta Post over the telephone on Thursday.

Sri said she had not received a formal letter from Bawong regarding to his arrest but has been informed about the case.

“Bawong can send us a letter if he needs help to process a suspension of arrest,” she said.

Vivanews.com reported that Bawong, who was the City Tax Agency’s Outdoor Advertisement Unit chief, allegedly did not order the removal of a PT Duta Senamuda Perkara advertisement from a billboard on Jl. Gatot Subroto, Central Jakarta, after the company’s advertising license expired in June 2009.

CV Qirana Syahid, which currently holds the billboard’s license, has not posted any of its advertisements, according to reports.

Officials allege that the city has lost Rp 925.5 million (US$102,067) in revenue in connection to the billboard.

Jakarta High Court spokesman Suhendra said that if Bawong was found guilty of the allegations, he could be sentenced to a prison for a period of 20 years to life, according to the 2001 Law on Corruption Eradication.

The court has also detained the director of Duta Senamuda Perkara, David R. Yasin, in connection with the billboard case.

Tax Agency head Iwan Setia-wandi confirmed Bawong’s arrest and said that he had received an arrest order letter from the city’s high court, which he forwarded to Bawong’s family.

“The letter said that he will be detained from July 5 to July 20,” he told the Post over the telephone.

The arrest was made in connection to outdoor billboard advertising on Jl. Gatot Subroto, Iwan said.

Governor Fauzi Bowo said his administration was committed to good governance and would support the high court in investigating the case.

Fauzi said Bawong was detained for further investigation.

“Currently, there are some signs that show violations of the regulations, but it doesn’t mean that he is guilty,” Fauzi said.

Iwan, who recently replaced Reynalda Majid as Tax Agency head, said he ordered his subordinates to recheck the status of the city’ outdoor advertisement licenses.

“We will warn all companies that have not extended their permits,” he said, adding that he targeted to finish the process by the end of the month.

Officials allege that the city has lost Rp 925.5 million (US$102,067) in revenue in connection to the billboard.

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