Ex-Garuda chief, Thai Airways named in Rolls-Royce bribery case


Emirsyah Satar, former Garuda Indonesia chief, has been named a suspect in a case of bribery-for-contracts by Rolls-Royce that has indicted other airlines including Thai Airways International (THAI).

Rolls-Royce recently admitted to the UK’s Serious Fraud Office on bribery for the procurement of Rolls-Royce jet engines in several countries such as Thailand from 1991 to 2005.

Emirsyah is one party alleged to have received benefits in exchange for procuring Rolls Royce engines for the Garuda’s Boeing aircraft, and the case is being handled by the Indonesia Corruption Eradiation Commission (KPK).

Speaking to the media in Jakarta, Laode Syarif, deputy chairman of KPK, said: “(The suspect) has received from SS (another suspect) 1.3 million euros (US$1.4 million) and US$180,000 in cash and US$2 million in goods.”

Benny Butarnutar, Garuda’s vice president corporate communications, stated that KPK’s investigation was not on the national airline. “It’s about the act of an individual,” he stressed, while stating that the carrier will fully cooperate in the investigations.

He added that as a public company, Garuda has its own mechanisms in running businesses, starting from the implementation of good corporate governance to transparency in providing information.

KPK confirmed that this was a personal case and not a corporate one.

And in Thailand, some US$36 million in bribes and incentives had reportedly been paid to intermediaries, including state agents and employees of THAI, to help Rolls-Royce win lucrative engine deals.

THAI released a statement saying it has set up a special task force for investigation of past engine procurement and another for corruption prevention.

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