Mario Dandy fallout: Tax officials disband motorcycle club amid public glare

Tax Director General Suryo Utomo leads a motorcycle club for tax officials. Photo: Instagram/@smindrawati
Tax Director General Suryo Utomo leads a motorcycle club for tax officials. Photo: Instagram/@smindrawati

A heinous assault carried out by the son of an Indonesian tax official has led to intense public scrutiny towards the luxurious lifestyles of other high-ranking taxmen. One notable fallout from this is the disbanding of a motorcycle club for tax officials, following an explicit warning by Indonesia’s Finance Minister Sri Mulyani.

Yesterday evening, Sri Mulyani took to Instagram to call out Tax Directorate General (DJP) officials who had formed a club for riders of luxury motorcycles called BlastingRijder DJP. The club had recently gone under the microscope after netizens shared footage depicting BlastingRijder activities while wondering how the taxmen were able to afford the expensive hobby on public servants’ salaries.

“I ask that the BlastingRijder DJP club be disbanded. A hobby and lifestyle of riding large motorcycles create a negative perception and a suspicion from the public as to where DJP employees get their riches from,” Sri Mulyani wrote in the caption.

“Even if the large motorcycles were obtained using clean money or your salary, driving and flaunting them around is unbecoming of officials and employees of tax offices and the Ministry of Finance.”

Following Sri Mulyani’s warning, BlastingRijder has vanished from social media. Even pages dedicated to the numerous regional and city chapters of the club have disappeared as of this article’s publication.

The taxman’s son

Last week, police arrested a 20-year-old man named Mario Dandy for the aggravated assault of a 17-year-old boy named David Latumahina. The victim, who is the son of a leader of the religious organization GP Ansor, fell into a coma.

Mario Dandy allegedly assaulted David over a 15-year-old girl, who the victim used to date and who the assailant is now dating. Footage of the assault, believed to be taken by the girl and uploaded on social media, showed Mario Dandy and his friends delivering kicks and blows to the back of David’s head while he was down on the floor — an apparent indication that they meant to cause him grave harm.

Mario Dandy has been charged with aggravated assault under the Criminal Code, which is punishable by up to five years in prison. He may also face charges related to assaulting a minor.

Public interest in the case really picked up when netizens dug deep into Mario Dandy’s life and discovered that he is the son of a South Jakarta tax official named Rafael Alun Trisambodo. While the father had led a discreet life, the son often flaunted the family’s wealth on social media.

Further digging revealed Rafael has a net value of IDR56 billion (US$3.67 million) based on his latest official wealth report (LHKPN), which would be far above what one would make as a public servant. The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) is launching a probe this week into Rafael’s source of wealth.

Sri Mulyani has demoted Rafael, but the taxman has filed a letter of resignation from the DJP, which the minister has yet to accept.

Rafael might just be the tip of the iceberg representing the lavish lifestyles of Indonesian tax officials and Ministry of Finance employees. As of last week, 43 percent of the ministry’s employees have yet to file their LHKPN for 2023 — though they have until March 31 to do so.

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