Jakarta. Flag carrier Garuda Indonesia's president director I Gusti Ngurah Ashkara is soon to be fired for allegedly smuggling a Harley Davidson motorcycle and two Brompton bicycles, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir said on Thursday.
The items were smuggled inside Garuda's brand new Airbus A330-900 Neo being delivered from its factory in Toulouse, France, in mid-November.
There were 22 passengers on the plane and four of them were Garuda directors: the president director, better known as Ari Ashkara, technical and services director Iwan Joeniarto, cargo and business development director Mohammas Iqbal and human resources director Heri Akhyar.
"As the SOE Minister, I will dismiss the Garuda president director. We will not stop there; we will look for other people who might have been involved in this case as well," Erick told a press conference in Jakarta.
The used Harley Davidson motorcycle had been disassembled prior to delivery and smuggled as parts. Customs officials found them wrapped in 15 boxes inside the plane's cargo area.
The Brompton bikes and accessories were found in three other boxes.
Erick said an audit by the customs office showed the smuggled items belonged to the president director, despite the baggage claim tags carrying different names.
Ari had instructed his subordinates to find him a classic Harley Davidson Shovelhead from the 1970s.
The used motorcycle was purchased in April 2019 with the help of a Garuda finance manager in Amsterdam.
"It's really sad that this [personal] transaction had to drag down an SOE," Erick said.
The Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhur Binsar Pandjaitan said during a visit to Tongxiang, China, on Thursday that he fully supported Erick's decision.
"[An act like] this will hurt our investment climate," he said.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati meanwhile said smuggling the Harley and the Bromptons had cost the country up to Rp 1.5 billion ($107,000) in unpaid taxes.
"The Harley bike is valued at Rp 800 million and the Brompton bicycles cost Rp 50-60 million each," Sri Mulyani said.
"Everyone should always obey existing regulations," she told reporters.