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Head of the Bogor tax office Anggrah Suryo, who was caught red-handed on Friday by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigators accepting a Rp 300 million (US$31,800) bribe, was named a suspect and locked in detention.
The West Java Prosecutor’s office also named private employee Endang Dyah Lestari, who allegedly paid the bribe, and her driver Sarnyoto, suspects and put them in detention.
The three suspects will stay in detention for 20 days.
Jaya Kesuma, assistant at the special crimes division at the West Java Prosecutor’s office, said Anggrah could be charged with violating Article 5, Article 11 or Article 12 of the 2011 Corruption Eradication Law, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, while Endang allegedly violated Article 5 and Article 13 of the same law.
A team of KPK investigators arrested Anggrah, 44, while accepting Rp 300 million from Endang, 50, in a parking lot in the Legenda Wisata real estate complex in Cibubur, southeast of Jakarta, on Friday morning.
During the raid, Anggrah tried to escape, but several KPK investigators managed to rush to their car and pursue him. The car chase ended at the Kota Wisata housing complex, near the scene of the initial arrest.
The KPK handed over the investigation of the case to the West Java Prosecutor’s office due to limitations in the antigraft body’s human resources.
Jaya said that the bribe was allegedly paid to help Endang’s firm PT Gunung Emas Abadi (PT GEA), a mining company based in Bogor, pay lower taxes than its obligated amount, which was around Rp 22 billion.
Anggrah reportedly to help and demanded Endang pay Rp 1.5 billion in tax, Jaya added.
“They both agreed that the total tax paid by the company would be Rp 1.2 billion, while the Rp 300 million was the money used to bribe Anggrah to falsify the report,” he continued.
“Endang told her driver to hand over a package containing Rp 300 million, in the form of Rp 100,000 banknotes, to Anggrah, who was in his Kijang Innova car, parked right in front of Endang’s Toyota Avanza minivan.”
The KPK also arrested Sarnyoto, Endang’s driver from PT GEA, and confiscated evidence, including documents and Rp 300 million in cash.
“We are still questioning the driver on whether he took part in this case or not. If he is proven to be involved in the bribery, he can be named a suspect,” Jaya went on.
Anggrah is temporarily being detained at Kebonwaru Penitentiary, while Endang is at a female-only penitentiary in Sukamiskin.
“They will be detained for 20 days, with a maximum of 40 days,” said Jaya.
Meanwhwile, Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) called on the KPK to keep monitoring the legal process of the Bogor tax office head to ensure transparency and fairness.
“The KPK handles too many graft cases with very limited human resources. It’s reasonable if they seek assistance from other law enforcement agencies such as the police or the AGO,” ICW’s Adnan Topan Husodo told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.
“However, they still have to monitor the process and make sure that this case goes to court,” he said.
Adnan said that Indonesia had ratified the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), the principle stipulations of which include effort to criminalize bribery and make sure that all law enforcement agencies take part in handling graft cases.
“This means that the AGO and police should also take action in handling graft cases. Up until now, the KPK is the only law enforcement agencies that has succeeded in arresting graft suspects red-handed. The KPK also has the best performance compared to the others,” he said.
Taxation Director General Fuad Rahmani has called on government officials, legislators and the public to support the fight against corruption within his institutions.
He claimed that the number of graft cases involving tax officials wasa result of ongoing bureaucratic reform within the taxation director general’s office.
“I know the public has been denouncing my institution, condemning us as the most corrupt institution due to a great number of tax officials arrested over bribery. However, I must tell you that the more our staffers are detained for corrupt practices, the more the reform is succeeding,” he added. (nad)