Friday, January 21, 2011

Indonesia sends a corrupt tax man to jail for 7 years



A nation that is battling corrupt practices in the government, Indonesia sentenced a low-ranking tax officer to seven years imprisonment on Wednesday for bribing jail personnel to watch a tennis match in Bali disguised in wig and sunglasses, the AP reported.
The attached video shows Gayus Tambunan, the convicted tax man watching a tennis game in a resort in Bali that angered many people in Indonesia over social media sites.
Tambunan was reported to have bribed officials and falsified documents. He admitted to have amassed at least $2.7 million as payment from huge companies so they could evade taxes--a loss of $700 million of government income.
The 31-year-old taxman was reported to have paid his way out of jail at least 68 times from the time he was arrested last year.
Also while behind bars, Tambunan with a $1,300-monthly salary was accused of paying $100,000 using fake travel documents to go to Singapore and Macau to shop and gamble.
People are not happy with the jail term. Some want death penalty for him.
The verdict was read live nationwide by Albertine Ho, presiding judge of the South Jakarta District Court, who gave the taxman a fine of $30,000 in addition to prison term.
Ho said, "The defendant has been found guilty of corruption and of giving false information about the amount of money he amassed."
The judge also said the 20 years sentence was too much since Tambunan was not alone in his trade.
It was alleged that the convict negotiated with senior police and immigration officials to people in the judiciary like judges and prosecutors, which angered the nation with 237 million inahbitants fed up with corruption.
The people believe that Tambunan is just a scapegoat. They want the "big fish" in jail.
Indonesia is on the list of Transparency International as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.
Among the members of the ASEAN, it ranks the sixth most corrupt country following Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Philippines and Viet Nam.
Visit this link for more details.
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