Taking the Blame in Garuda's Harley Davidson Contraband Saga



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati suspected that one of Garuda Indonesia’s employees identified as SAS (previously mentioned as SAW) had intentionally attempted to cover up the smuggling of a rare 1970s Harley Davidson shovelhead owned by the flag carrier’s President Director Ari Askhara. 

    According to Sri Mulyani, the investigation done by customs and excise found that SAS had initially claimed to be the owner of the contraband that was onboard the inaugural delivery of Garuda’s A330-900 Neo. He also claimed that the motorcycle was bought from eBay. 

    Later questioning revealed that SAS was unable to show any contact number or eBay account of the seller he claimed to have bought it from. Further investigation also found that SAS had never been interested in motorcycles and currently has Rp300 million in debt, much lower than the value of the Harley. 

    "From the information we obtained, SAS is into bicycling. Or maybe it’s developed into motorcycles," Sri Mulyani quipped on Thursday, December 5. 

    Based on the evidence, Sri Mulyani strongly suspected SAS had deliberately attempted to cover up the incident and take the blame. 

    Meanwhile, State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) Minister Erick Thohir said that the investigation from the ministry’s audit committee confirmed that the Harley Davidson smuggled onboard Garuda Indonesia’s newly-delivered A330-900 Neo on November 17, 2019, was in fact owned by the carrier’s president director Ari Askhara, who was officially terminated from his job by minister Erick.