Indonesia to probe Subianto, Suhartos after 'Paradise Papers' leak

In this picture taken on October 28, 2014, Prabowo Subianto, (center R) defeated presidential candidate sits with other dignitaries during the 50th anniversary celebration of of the Golkar Party at the Jakarta international expo pavillion, Indonesia. (AFP Photo/Romeo Gacad)

Indonesian authorities are investigating if former presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto and the children of ex-dictator Suharto, named in documents leaked from a Bermuda law firm, are in breach of the country’s tax laws.

The tax office will scrutinise financial disclosures made by Subianto in the past to check against information contained in the massive leak of confidential information from offshore law firm Appleby Global Group Services, Hestu Yoga Saksama, a spokesman for the Directorate General of Taxes, said in a text message on Monday.

The leaked documents dubbed the "Paradise Papers" were published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists over the weekend. Subianto, who was once married to former president Suharto’s daughter Titiek, was named as a director and deputy chairman of Bermuda-registered Nusantara Energy Resources. The former general was a runner-up to Joko Widodo in Indonesia’s 2014 presidential election and is touted by political analysts as a possible candidate in the 2019 race.

“All the information gathered from various sources will be taken into consideration,” Saksama said in response to questions whether tax authorities were looking into the Paradise papers. “We need and will seek more detail about such information, so we can check their compliance on their tax report.”

The tax office will assess Subianto’s assets included in tax returns and declarations made under Indonesia’s tax amnesty programme which ended in March this year, Saksama said.

Irawan Ronodipuro, a spokesman for Subianto’s Gerindra party, said he couldn’t immediately comment on the leak. Fadli Zon, the deputy chairman of Gerindra, said the former general has “no connection” to Nusantara Energy, according to ICIJ. He denied that the company was established to avoid taxes and said that it has not been active since it was founded, according to the report.

The ICIJ report said Tommy Suharto was the director and chairman of the board of Asia Market Investments, a company registered in Bermuda in 1997 and closed in 2000. Tommy Suharto couldn’t immediately be reached for comments. The report said Mamiek Suharto was the vice president of Golden Spike Pasiriaman and the beneficial owner and chairman of Golden Spike South Sumatra which were registered in Bermuda in the 1990s and are now closed. – Bloomberg

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