More heads roll over Harley smuggling in Indonesia

By December 8, 2019General Posts

Indonesian finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, third left, and Minister of State-Owned Enterprise Eric Thohir, right, inspect a Harley Davidson motorcycle found by customs officials on a Garuda Indonesia’s new Airbus A330-900 being delivered from France, prior to the start of a press conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. Indonesia’s state-owned enterprise minister says he will fire and seek the prosecution of the head of the national airline after he was implicated in the smuggling the motorcycle into the country on the new jet. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

Some Garuda directors suspended following CEO’s alleged attempt to evade tax on big bike

JAKARTA: The flag carrier Garuda Indonesia is suspending directors linked to the alleged smuggling of a Harley Davidson motorcycle by its chief executive, the airline’s chief commissioner said on Saturday.

State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir earlier announced his intention to fire the airline’s CEO, Ari Askhara, for allegedly trying to evade tax by bringing into the country a Harley Davidson motorbike onboard a new Airbus plane being delivered from France.

Askhara has been suspended pending a shareholders’ meeting to determine his fate.

Thohir said the smuggling also involved at least one other Garuda employee based in Europe who helped transfer the payment and assisted in the delivery of the motorbike. He said the investigation would continue to ascertain whether more employees were involved.

Sahala Lumban Gaol, chief commissioner of Garuda, said on Saturday that members of the board of directors who were “indicated to have been involved directly or indirectly” in the incident had been suspended.

He declined to name the suspended directors or say how many were affected.

Askhara has not responded publicly to the accusations of smuggling. Reuters made repeated unsuccessful attempts to contact him for comment.

Chief financial officer Fuad Rizal has been named acting CEO until a shareholders’ meeting to formally name a new chief is held, Garuda said in a statement on Friday.

Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi on Friday Garuda would be fined for not including the motorbike in the cargo list. The motorbike had been torn down and the parts packed in separate boxes.

Two expensive undeclared Brompton bicycles were also found onboard the plane.

–Bangkok Post