Gov’t Seizes Assets of BLBI Debtor Kaharudin Ongko
Jakarta. The government has seized $7.7 million worth of assets belonging to former banker Kaharudin Ongko as part of a massive debt collection program targeting major debtors who received state bailout during the 1998 financial crisis, a senior official said on Tuesday.
Kaharudin is one of two dozen major debtors who have not fully repaid the bailout, known as the Bank Indonesia Liquidity Assistance or BLBI.
The amount represents a tiny portion of the overall Rp 8.2 trillion ($576 million) Kaharudin owes to the government, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said in a news conference.
“We have seized part of the person’s collateral which includes current and fixed assets according to the Master Refinancing and Note Issuance Agreement he signed on December 18, 1998,” the minister said.
Sri Mulyani added Kaharudin has paid too little to the BLBLI Task Force that he is now being banned from traveling overseas.
The task force seized and withdrew cash from Kaharudin’s two escrow accounts amounting to Rp 665 million and $7.6 million a day earlier, she said, adding that the collected money was immediately transferred to the state coffers in the same day.
The former commissioner of Bank Umum Nasional was indicted with embezzlement in 2003 but was later acquitted by the Supreme Court.
During the Soeharto presidency, the government funded ailing banks to prevent the country’s financial system from collapsing in the wake of the Asian financial crisis, when the value of the rupiah fell sharply against the dollar, severely affecting most lenders' ability to repay their dollar-denominated debt.
Much of the bailout was misused by bank owners to finance other businesses and they eventually failed to repay the debts.Tags: