PT Garam director arrested over salt import misappropriation

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Director of state-owned salt firm PT Garam, Achmad Boediono, was arrested by police investigators in connection with his alleged violation on the importation and distribution of 75 thousand tons of industrial salt.

"The suspect was arrested at his house in Jati Bening Village, Pondok Gede District, Bekasi City West Java," Director of Special Crime of Police Criminal Investigation Department Brigadier General Agung Setya said in a short message on Saturday.

According to him, PT Garam as the state-owned firm (BUMN) received an assignment from the Minister of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) to import consumers salt in order to meet the national needs for consumption. However, according to the Letter of Import Approval issued by the Ministry of Trade, the salt imported by PT Garam was industrial salt with NaCl content above 97 percent.

"Of the 75 thousand tons of industrial salt imported, 1 thousand tons were packed in 400-gram packs with the brand SEGI THREE G and were sold for consumption," he said.

The remaining 74 thousand tons were sold to 45 other companies.

In fact, as stated in Article 10 of the Minister of Trade Regulation No. 125 of 2015 on the import of salt, industrial salt importers are prohibited to sell/transfer industrial salt to other parties, Agung stated.

"PT Garam not only sold or transferred the commodity but it also packed it as consumption salt and sold it to the public," he revealed.

The suspect allegedly violated the provisions as regulated in Article 62 of Consumer Protection Law, Article 3 of Corruption Act and Article 3 and Article 5 of Law on the Prevention and Eradication of TPPU (Money Laundering). Under the regulations, the suspect is punishable by a maximum sentence of 20 years.(*)