The curious case of Indonesia’s new House Speaker, a red Ferrari and IDR364 million in unpaid tax

Indonesia’s House Speaker Bambang Soesatyo. Photo: Instagram/@bambang.soesatyo
Indonesia’s House Speaker Bambang Soesatyo. Photo: Instagram/@bambang.soesatyo

Soon after Indonesia’s former house speaker, Setya Novanto, officially stepped down due to his highly controversial and dramatic corruption case, Bambang Soesatyo, a fellow politician from the Golkar party, assumed his place. Mere days into his tenure, Bambang is already having to contend with potentially criminal allegations — in his case, one that involves a swanky red Ferrari.

The Jakarta Provincial Government is currently going on a tax arrears collection drive targeting the owners of luxury cars. One of those cars is a red Ferrari with the license plate B 1 RED that has reportedly piled up IDR364 million (US$27,312) in unpaid taxes.

Netizens soon identified the car as belonging to Bambang Soesatyo, who posted a few photos of himself posing with the sports car on Instagram in 2015.

Answering allegations of tax evasion, Bambang said that he owned the red Ferrari for less than a year before he sold it.

“If there is news or information that there is overdue tax for a red Ferrari with the license plate B 1 RED that belongs to me, it’s wrong because I sold the car a long time ago,” he said, as quoted by Kompas on Saturday.

Bambang added that he doesn’t remember specifically when he sold the car, but that it must have been around two years ago. He also said he paid the car’s taxes while it was under his ownership.

But here is where things cease to add up. According to data from the West Jakarta Vehicle Document Registration Center (Samsat), the Ferrari is registered to a man named Andi Firmansyah who works as a security guard and lives in a narrow alleyway in Palmerah, West Jakarta. Furthermore, Samsat officers found out that the supposed owner no longer lives at the provided address when they visited it on Saturday.

“The neighborhood chief said Andi Firmansyah moved out three or four years ago,” said West Jakarta Samsat officer Elling Hartono, as quoted by Kompas yesterday.

“According to the neighborhood chief, Andi works as a security guard in Tanah Abang.”

Kompas described the alleyway on which Andi supposedly lived as so narrow that it’s only passable by motorcyclists and pedestrians.

More curiously still, under West Jakarta Samsat’s records, Andi is the first and only owner of the red Ferrari ever since it was purchased in September 2014, putting into question Bambang’s claim that he sold the car a couple of years ago.

Andi’s current whereabouts are unknown.

When pressed on the matter by journalists yesterday, Bambang responded, as quoted by Kompas, “Let it go. I gave you the chance to skin me. [Reporting on my] private issue is over. I gave you one week to skin me. I have been open about this. There’s no covering up anything.”

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