KPK May Detain Ex-Taxman Rafael after Seizing Large Amount of Undeclared Cash
Jakarta. Former high-ranking tax official Rafael Alun Trisambodo is expected to face interrogation at the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, and possibly be detained on Monday after investigators seized huge cash in foreign denominations equivalent to “tens of billions of rupiah” from safe deposit boxes under his name.
In an exclusive interview with Jakarta-based news broadcaster BTV on Friday, Rafael admitted that he didn’t report the money to authorities, and neither did he mention it in his tax returns.
"Several days ago, investigators sent a summons to the suspect to come to KPK’s Red and White building on Monday," KPK spokesman Ali Fikri said on Sunday.
His statement came amid growing criticisms of the commission for dragging its feet in dealing with embattled tax and customs officials.
Rafael has visited the KPK headquarters several times to clarify his wealth report since early this month but only last week did the KPK name him a suspect and search his home after he was fired by the Finance Ministry for underreporting wealth and undeclared assets.
Several other tax and customs officials also have been summoned by the commission but none of them became a suspect.
The KPK accuses Rafael of having accepted bribes during his last 12 years in office.
During the search on Friday, KPK investigators seized tens of luxury bags of top designer brands such as Hermes from Rafael’s home at an upscale housing complex in Simprug, South Jakarta.
The money was seized from the suspect’s safe deposit boxes at a state bank.
A KPK official said that the investigation team has counted the money but couldn't reveal the exact amount until it is converted into rupiah and Rafael is being interrogated for the first time as a graft suspect.
The official, however, put the figure at tens of billions of rupiah.
Rafel denied that he was trying to hide the enormous amount of cash from law authorities.
“If I wanted to hide the money from [law authorities], the safe deposit boxes would have been registered in names other than myself,” he said in the BTV interview.
“I actually hid the money from my wife and children because as a civil servant, I’m worried that if they know about it they will have the urge to spend on things that eventually will cost me the peace in managing the family.”
He said the money was gained from the sales of his properties and has been exchanged into foreign currencies since 2010.
“I didn’t mention that in my LHKPN and in my tax returns because I didn’t want my wife and my adult children to know about it,” he said, using the Indonesian acronym for the state-mandated State Official’s Asset and Wealth Report.
“My aim with the money is to be spent during my retirement for me and my wife alone, not for current expenses,” Rafael said.