The Jakarta Post
The Finance Ministry revealed on Tuesday a number of attempts to smuggle dozens of luxury cars and motorcycles worth at least Rp 21 billion (US$1.5 million) into the country through the Tanjung Priok Port in North Jakarta over the last three years.
A joint operation involving the ministry’s Customs and Excise Directorate General, the National Police, the Indonesian Military and the Attorney General’s Office secured more than 50 vehicles, including a Porsche and BMW motorcycles, smuggled inside containers arriving at the port.
“So far, we have confiscated 19 smuggled luxury cars and 35 luxury motorcycles,” Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Tuesday as quoted by kompas.com.
Seven companies, identified as PT SLK, PT TJI, PT NILD, PT MPMP, PT IRS, PT TNA, and PT TSP, were allegedly involved in the smuggling attempts, which had been occurring, according to the ministry, since 2016.
It has been estimated that the smuggling resulted in a Rp 48 billion financial loss to the state from unpaid luxury goods taxes and import tariffs.
Regulations stipulate that luxury vehicles are subject to a 40 percent import tariff and a 125 percent luxury goods tax.
According to government data, PT SLK smuggled a Porsche GT3RS and an Alfa Romeo worth a combined Rp 2.9 billion from Singapore on Sept. 29. The ship’s manifest declared that it was carrying refractory bricks.
Another company, PT TJI, was caught smuggling a number of high-end vehicles: a Mercedes-Benz, a Suzuki Jimny, a Jeep TJ MPV, a Toyota Supra and a variety of BMW and Honda motorcycles from Japan – collectively worth Rp 1.07 billion.
The manifest, dated July 29, said that the company was importing vehicle components such as bumpers, doors and engine hoods.
Sri Mulyani expressed hope that the authorities would continue cracking down on luxury goods smuggling and would punish those involved in the case.
“I hope public obedience will improve,” Sri Mulyani said, “Smuggling luxury items hurts the public’s sense of justice. Not only does it harm the state’s finances, it also hurts social justice.”
The smuggling cases came on the heels of the country’s attempt to step up crackdowns on luxury vehicles lacking valid ownership documents or with unpaid taxes.
Recently, authorities unveiled a high-profile smuggling case involving a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and upmarket Brompton folding bicycles. Bigwigs from national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia were implicated. The luxury goods were smuggled on board a new plane being delivered from France.
Garuda Indonesia president director Ari Ashkara and four other directors were fired as a result.