JAKARTA: The CEO of Indonesia’s national airline Garuda will be sacked for allegedly smuggling a Harley Davidson motorcycle into the country and using a subordinate’s name on import papers to avoid detection, a minister said on Thursday (Dec 5).
State-owned enterprises minister Erick Thohir said the airline’s chief Ari Ashkara allegedly brought over parts of the disassembled motorbike on a plane from France last month.
Ashkara is accused of hiding the parts in containers with a claim tag in the name of one of his deputies, Thohir said.
The alleged smuggling was meant to avoid declaring the 800 million rupiah (US$57,000) motorbike to customs, he added.
“As minister of state-owned enterprises, I will fire Garuda’s CEO,” Thohir, a former owner of Italian football club Inter Milan, told reporters in Jakarta Thursday.
He did not say when Askhara would be dismissed but that the ministry would investigate whether other Garuda personnel were involved.
Two high-end bicycles, which Thohir said were not declared to customs and were also found on the jet, were displayed alongside the motorbike at the news conference.
Garuda did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
But previously the state carrier had said that the motorbike parts belonged to several employees and were properly declared to customs in France.
Garuda has been struggling to improve its profitability. In June, Indonesia’s financial regulator ordered Garuda to “fix and restate” its 2018 financial results over accounting errors.
In April, two of Garuda’s largest private shareholders questioned the airline’s 2018 results and alleged it misrepresented a US$240 million financial transaction. The airline rejected the allegation.