The antigraft agency has once again caught a government official red-handed, this time while receiving a Rp 300 million ($32,000) suspected bribe from a businessman, a commissioner said on Friday.
Bambang Widjojanto, deputy chief of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), told a news conference in Tanjung Lesung, Banten, that A.S., the head of a tax office in Bogor, was caught in the Kota Legenda housing complex in Cibubur.
“The giver is someone sent by PT GEA who has the initial E, and his driver,” Bambang said.
He said the bribe was suspected to be connected to the tax affairs of GEA, “having something to do with tax, restitution or other things.”
A.S., Bambang said, attempted to flee when KPK investigators raided the scene but was later arrested.
Bambang said the raid was the result of a report from the tax office’s Internal Compliance and Resource Transformation Directorate (Kitsda).
He added that the case may be handed over to the Attorney General’s Office because the burden on KPK investigators had reached a “crucial point.”
“Given the work load of the KPK investigators and interrogators, we tend to hand this over to the Attorney General’s Office,” Bambang said.
He added that the antigraft body would first seek to establish whether A.S. could be classified as a state functionary. If so, he may be handed over to the Attorney General’s Office.
The arrest serves as another blow for the Directorate General of Taxation, long believed to be plagued with corruption.
Earlier this year, public confidence in the tax office was dealt a blow when authorities discovered large amounts of rupiah, dollars and gold in bank accounts belonging to Dhana Widyatmika.
The case was reminiscent of Gayus Tambunan’s, who was arrested after investigators found more than Rp 100 billion ($10.6 million) in his bank accounts.
In June, the KPK arrested Tommy Hendratno, a tax official in Sidoarjo, East Java, for taking a bribe estimated to be worth Rp 280 million.
Director general of taxation Fuad Rahmany recently confirmed that businesses often hired tax officials as consultants despite such services not being allowed under the law.
“Businesspeople must not ask tax officers to become tax consultants,” Fuad said last week. “Otherwise they will become like Gayus.”