Finance Minister Sri Mulyani gave a statement to the press at the anti-graft commission (KPK) related to the arrest of an official in the Directorate General of Tax. Sri Mulyani promised that she will learn from the case to reform the Directorate General of Tax. (Edy Susanto/Gres.news)
JAKARTA, GRES.NEWS - The anti-graft commission (KPK) finally announces the result of their catch-in-the-act operation (OTT) that was conducted to arrest an official in the Directorate General of Tax and an entrepreneur last Monday (21/11). KPK arrested the Chairman of PT E K Prima (EKP), Rajesh Rajamohanan Nair, and the Head of Preliminary Evidence Subdirectorate in the Tax Directorate General’s Law Enforcement Directorate, Handang Soekarno.
Rajesh is found bribing Handang for US$148,500 (Rp1.9 billion). The bribe money was handed to Handang so he could help PT EKP in facing their tax issues. KPK named both of them as suspects immediately.
KPK Chairman Agus Rahardjo explained the arrest chronology. Last Monday at 20:00 WIB (West Indonesia Time-Zone), Rajesh handed the bribe to Handang in Rajesh’s house in Springhill Residence, Kemayoran, Central Jakarta. After that, KPK arrested Handang not far from where he received the bribe.
Handang was accompanied by his driver and subordinate, and they were arrested at that time. "We have confiscated US$148,500 or Rp1.9 billion from the crime scene," Agus said at a press conference in his office, Tuesday (22/11). In the press conference, Agus was accompanied by KPK Deputy Chairmen Laode Muhammad Syarif, Basaria Panjaitan, and Finance Minister Sri Mulyani.
After arresting Handang, the investigation team also arrested Rajesh in his house. They were brought to KPK Headquarters to be interrogated. Besides them, KPK detained three Rajesh’s staffs in Pamulang, Banten, Pulomas, East Jakarta, and Surabaya. "The bribe is allegedly connected to the tax issues in PT EKP, such as their tax notice worth Rp78 billion," Agus explained.
After arresting them, KPK names both of them as suspects based on their investigation and presentation of the case.
REBUILDING TRUST - Meanwhile, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani who was also present at the press conference claims she’s disappointed with her subordinates. On top of that, the government is building people’s trust, particularly taxpayers, through tax amnesty program.
"I’m very disappointed with the tax official. Moreover, we’re in a process to recover the trust of taxpayers’ trust through tax amnesty program, which needs a trust between taxpayers and tax officials," Sri Mulyani said.
She states that Handang has betrayed the principles of good management, effectivity, and honesty that are embraced by the Finance Ministry, including the Directorate General of Tax. "This is seriously hurting and disappointing the officials in the Directorate General of Tax, including me as the finance minister who feels really disappointed," she said.
Sri Mulyani said the Finance Ministry supports KPK to resolve the case completely. She promises to give Agus Rahardjo and his partners a full access to the ministry so they can investigate the case deeper. She hopes the case will give a lesson to the Directorate General of Tax to improve their performance and cleanse the institution from corruption practices.
Besides that, she will cooperate with KPK to intensify corruption prevention moves and fix the system in the Finance Ministry, not only the Directorate General of Tax.
Previously, Sri Mulyani has promised to establish a reform team that will not only eradicate corruption in the ministry but also pay attention to five strategic matters.