Will Susno and Gayus Shatter The Source of Evil in Police and Tax Dept?

National police chief General Bambang Hendarso Danuri will replace Brigadier General Edmond Ilyas as chief of the Lampung regional police command, national police spokesman Edward Aritonang said here on Friday. Inspector General Ilyas has been suspended following his questioning by the professionalism and security division in connection with his alleged involvement in the tax fraud case of tax officer Gayus Tambunan.

Edward said Ilyas’s post transfer would be carried out at the national police headquarters next Monday by General Bambang Hendarso Danuri. Elyas would be replaced by Brigadier General Sulistyo Ishak, currently deputy national police spokesman.

Edward said three other regional police command chiefs would also be replaced namely Inspector General Adityawarman, the chief of the Aceh regional police command for entering retirement, by Brigadier General Fajar Prihantoro, Brigadier General Sumaryono, the chief of the Gorontalo regional police command also for entering retirement by Brigadier General Irawan Dahlan.

The deputy chief of the Gorontalo regional police command, Senior Comissioner Lukman Nulhakim meanwhile would replace Brigadier General Fajar Prihantoro as the chief of the North Maluku regional police command. And, Brigadier General Anton Setiadi, the chief of the Bangka Belitung regional police command, will be replaced by Senior Commissioner M Rum Murkal. Anton Setiadi will be an expert staff of the national police chief.

Previously, Bambang Hendarso stated that there would be one-star general set as a suspect in fugitive former tax official and graft suspect Gayus Tambunan case. Does it mean there will be more high rank officers in the force that will be set as suspects in the case?

An antigraft group and a police watchdog questioned the National Police’s contradictory statements regarding its investigation into alleged case brokering practices implicating top officers and Gayus Tambunan. They said this could be seen as an indication that the police lacked the will to conduct a transparent and fair investigation into the scandal.

After the case brokering scandal broke out, police have issued several statements that they later denied or were proven to be misleading after being confirmed by third parties. “We view the police commitment to settling this case as shaky. The misleading statements they have frequently issued are clear indications of this,” Febri Diansyah of Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) as quoted by The Jakarta Post.

National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Edward Aritonang, for example, said that police had spoken to members of the National Police Commission (Kompolnas) requesting assistance in the investigation of Andi Kosasih, an alleged accomplice of Gayus. Kompolnas member Adnan Pandu Praja, however, told the Post that he knew nothing of the investigation.

“From the very beginning, no one has invited us to discussions about how to handle this case,” he said.

Police also made remarks regarding the status of former chief detective Comr. Gen. Susno Duadji, who was reported to the police by Brig. Gen. Raja Erizman and Brig. Gen. Edmond Ilyas. Susno had earlier implied that the two men took bribes from Gayus. The police said that Susno had already been named a suspect pertaining to Edmond’s and Raja’s report.

However, they later denied saying this, instead blaming journalists for distorting their statement. Police deputy spokesman Brig. Gen. Sulistyo Ishak reiterated on Friday that police had not named Susno a suspect in case.

Johnson Pandjaitan of Indonesian Police Watch concurred with Febri, saying that police should involve the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in the investigation to ensure fairness and impartiality.

The case started when Susno told the media that last year, while he was serving as the chief of detectives, his division received a report from the Financial Transactions Report and Analysis Center (PPATK) about an account that had suddenly received a Rp 25 billion (US$2.75 million) deposit. The account was held by an employee of the Taxation Directorate General named Gayus Tambunan.

However, in November 2009 before the investigations of this case were complete, Susno was dismissed from his position following his alleged role in judicial corruption involving businessman Anggodo Widjojo. Susno said that while he was no longer a chief detective, he kept in touch with his former subordinates who later informed him the investigation had been stopped after detectives found that only Rp 400 million of the Rp 25 billion deposit was connected to graft.

Director General of Taxation M. Tjiptardjo said that the directorate general will also examine other tax officials who have worked with Gayus to anticipate other possible violations.

“I won’t stop there. Other officials, his bosses, will be examined. This is embarrassing. I will eradicate [the tax office] of corruption,” he said.

Tjiptardjo added that Gayus had admitted he received Rp 370 million from taxpayers. “Based on a temporary report, he admitted to receiving Rp 370 million. We will examine his tax returns to check whether there are other funds,” he said.

Gayus said the Rp 25 billion found in his bank account belonged to businessman Andi Kosasih, but Tjiptardjo is suspicious about that. Gayus told the police earlier that Andi, a businessman from Batam, transferred the Rp 25 billion fund to his account to buy a plot of land in Jakarta. While according to Bambang Susatyo, member of Commision III of House of Representatives, there are 149 companies with the indication of getting involved in tax graft dealing with Gayus Tambunan.

Gayus’ case has now been scrutinized by the Directorate of Internal Compliance for Official Resources Transformation at the Directorate General of Taxation. The Directorate General of Taxation and the Directorate General of Customs and Excise are responsible for 70 percent of total state revenue.

Analysis and Evaluation (Anev) session on Gayus Halomoan Tambunan case was held at National police headquarters in Jakarta on Saturday. The session was attended by three teams handling the case: the independent team, Internal Affairs, detective division of national police.

"This is just Anev. There are various teams," said National Police chief detective Comr. Gen. Ito Sumardi at the HQ. When asked that this means Edmond Ilyas is under the investigation held by the detective division after he was probed by IA, Ito Sumardi replied, "Not yet. This is just at stage of Anev."

IA handles the case of troubled police involved in Gayus case; detective division deals with general crimes such as tax evasion, money laundry, and false testimonies. While the independent team investigates legal mafia in Gayus case.