Minister of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), Erick Thohir, officially fired CEO of flight carrier PT Garuda Indonesia Tbk (IDX: GIAA), Ari Askhara - Photo by TheInsiderStories

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Minister of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), Erick Thohir, officially fired CEO of flight carrier PT Garuda Indonesia Tbk (IDX: GIAA), Ari Askhara, after getting more accurate data from the official source proved he involved in smuggling of Harley Davidson and Brompton.

“As the minister, I will certainly fire Mr. Ari Askhara CEO of Garuda Indonesia,” Thohir said in a press conference today (12/05), adding the procedure will running openly.

The minister will also examine closely all parties involved in this case and believes the finance minister and the customs director-general will process them fairly and thoroughly, he said.

Thohir claimed to have valid evidence from the board of commissioners and audit committee and made sure Harley Davidson’s motorbike was owned by Askhara.

“The purchase was made in April 2019. The payment process is through the finance manager in London. This is a comprehensive process across all SOEs. I am very sad when we want to develop SOEs, but if this happens, it will be in vain,” he said.

Finance minister Sry Mulyani Indrawati said, based on the investigation, the value of the Harley motorbike was Rp800 million (US$57,142) while the bicycle was around Rp50 million. Thus the total value of around Rp532 million to Rp1.5 billion.

“Currently the customs and excise department continues to carry out further investigations. We also see Mr. Ari Askhara has a forest valued at Rp300 million for home renovations. We also see transfers to his account for three times worth Rp50 million,” she said.

The minister will also look at financial transactions from and to related parties to bring the motorbike to Indonesia.

“We are still continuing to investigate the initial motive of whether this is on personal initiative or the interests of others. We will also show the mode of smuggling of goods into Indonesia through various channels, through airports and ports,” Indrawati said.

On the States Officials’ Wealth Report Askhara did not mention him owning a Harley Davidson motorbike. In the wealth report, as quoted from the Anti-graft official website in 2018, he only reported three types of vehicles, none of which was a Harley Davidson bike.

Askhara was one of 21 passengers who boarded a flight from France to the Garuda Maintenance Facility (GMF) hangar. The plane, which arrived in Jakarta on November 17, was found to have carried several pieces of spare parts of a limited edition Harley Davidson manufactured in the 1970s.

The parts were packed separately into 15 boxes, and checked in with other passenger suitcases, meaning that they were not listed as cargoes.

Customs and Excise found the illegally shipped items, along with two units of Brompton bicycles, estimated to be worth tens of millions of rupiah. The bikes were also packed and wrapped separately as 18 different checked items.

Garuda Indonesia’s vice president corporate secretary Ikhsan Rosan had stated that the object did not belong to Akhsara, but a company’s employee’s. He also said that Garuda’s passengers and crew had, from the beginning, self-declared and claimed possession over their checked items.

US$1=Rp14,000

by Linda Silaen, Email: linda.silaen@theinsiderstories.com