The Jakarta Post
Fresh off the controversy surrounding the smuggling of high-end contraband earlier this month, national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia may find itself in hot water once again as the State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Ministry has received a report accusing the airline of embezzling its corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds.
Arya Sinulingga, an aide to SOE Minister Erick Thohir, said the ministry and its committee of auditors were still verifying the report, which accused the airline of misusing the CSR funds by transferring them to the Garuda Indonesia Cabin Crew Union (IKAGI).
“We will ask whether a portion of the CSR funds went to IKAGI; if so, was it for leadership election purposes or what?” Arya said on Monday as quoted by kompas.com.
He went on to say that the report included a receipt of a Rp 50 million (US$3,572) transfer from Garuda Indonesia to IKAGI on Sept. 17.
“We’ll ask our friends at Garuda why such a thing could happen. CSR funds should be allocated [for external projects], not for internal use,” Arya said.
Should such embezzlement actually have taken place, the parties involved in the illicit transaction may face sanctions, he said. However, Arya said the sanctions would be in accordance with Garuda Indonesia’s internal regulations, not the law.
“It’s not a legal matter, because the funds were not allocated for personal use – they were given to the wrong recipient. Maybe [the perpetrators] will face administrative sanctions,” Arya said.
The latest allegation may hint at yet another blunder in a year already marred with many unfavorable headlines for the airline.
Minister Erick recently fired then-Garuda Indonesia president director Ari Akshara following the discovery of a disassembled Harley-Davidson motorcycle and Brompton folding bicycles smuggled on board a new Airbus A330-900 plane being delivered to the airline. (rfa)