Police Stop Internal Investigation on Tax Scam

Jakarta: The new chief detective of the National Police appointed to replace the rebelling chief in one of the most costly internal row in the force after the beginning of the reform, announced this week the dissolution of the so called independent investigation team on tax evasion scam within the force which consisted of no elements from outside the national police, four months after it was formed.

The announcement was seen as a cut off on the fuse for more police officers mentioned in the scam after three were officially charged, in a bid to localize the internal damage inflicted by the case, while legal proceedings will continue, police said, for all 11 suspects which include the three police officers.

Chief Detective Commissioner General Ito Sumardi denied that the dissolution of the team will also stop proceeding on one of the most systemic corruption scandal uncovered since the reform era which involve the Taxation Directorate General, prosecutors with The Attorney General’s Office, judges with The law and Human Rights Department and the National Police.

Contacted a day after the team was disbanded on Tuesday (20/7), Comm. Gen. Ito Sumardi said said there has been no evidence against two former directors of the economic crime Brigadier General Raja Erizman and Brigadier General Edmon Ilyas, two of the three first names leaked to the public in the case, with the crime.

And on the following day after a cabinet meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Police Chief General Bambang Hendarso Danuri said possibilities remain open especially if the trial presented new evidence against the two officers.

Four officers escaped the law so far despite testimonies from the implicated officers; Raja and Edmon, Senior Commissioner Pambudi Pamungkas former Money Laundry Section chief in the Economic Directorate, and Adjutant Senior Commissioner Mardiyani an investigator.

The three officers charged are the rebelling Commissioner General Susno Duadji also the whistleblower of the case, Comissioner Arafat Enanie who demanded a Harley Davidson Ultra Classic as one of the bribes, and Adjutant Commissioner Sri Sumartini.

Police said the decision to disband the team was made after police consulted the move with the Presidential Taskforce on Judiciary Reform, but Secretary of the taskforce Denny Indrayana denied the claim saying “the Taskforce was not aware and did not attend such meeting.”

Around 140 companies, local and multionational, mentioned to have disputed their tax payment with the cracked down unit in the taxation office but only seven so far definitely linked to evasion bid; PT Surya Alam Tunggal (prawn packing firm), Excelcomindo, Dowell Anadrill Schlumberger, Indocement, and three Bakrie & Brothers units Kaltim Prima Coal, Bumi Resources, and Arutmin.

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