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Police search for Tommy focuses on Jakarta, Surabaya SURABAYA - The National Police's two-month search for fugitive Hutomo "Tommy" Mandala Putra is now being focused on Jakarta and the East Java capital of Surabaya. "I repeat, the National Police has never arrested Tommy to date. Our sources indicate that Tommy is either in Surabaya or Jakarta," National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Saleh Saaf told reporters on Tuesday.
The statement comes days after the police denied President Abdurrahman Wahid's claim that an officer had almost arrested Tommy in East Java. "Both Surabaya and Jakarta are top police priorities. The two cities are currently under police surveillance. Tommy is either in one of these two cities. We believe and guarantee that he has not left the country," Saleh said. When asked why police intelligence officers were taking so long to locate the fugitive, Saleh said Tommy's wealth had made him "invincible".
"He's not like your common murderer or thief. This man probably has banknotes without serial numbers... he's so rich that nobody wants to turn him in," Saleh said. "The general public regularly informs the police of the whereabouts of drug dealers or other criminals, but they have been totally unsupportive in Tommy's case. Who does not know his face? Nobody has called in to inform us about his whereabouts." According to the President, Tommy, the youngest son of former president Soeharto, "had slipped through the fingers of police in a small East Java town" several weeks ago.
National Police chief Gen. Surojo Bimantoro officially denied the claim on New Year's Eve, saying no such arrest was ever made. On rumors that the allegedly failed attempt to arrest Tommy in East Java was made by former president Soeharto's aide Sr. Supt. Anton Tabah, Saleh just laughed. "That's nonsense," Saleh said. Separately, Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Mulyono Sulaiman told reporters on Tuesday that despite rumors of Tommy hiding out at the residence of former Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Gen. (ret.) Wiranto, the police had no plans to search Wiranto's residence.
"The police has no plans to search Wiranto's residence as yet," Mulyono said without elaborating. Speaking on Dec. 29 last year in Ciganjur, South Jakarta, Abdurrahman claimed that Tommy, after being caught, demanded to meet with the President and indicated that he had incriminating information on tape, prompting the nervous policeman to telephone him. "I said, there is no such tape. Just arrest him. But when the police went back for Tommy, he was already gone," Abdurrahman said.
But, he added: "We know where he is. When the time is right, he will be arrested." Tommy has been on the run after Abdurrahman refused to give the 38-year-old businessman a pardon, which could have revoked the Supreme Court's verdict that sentenced him to 18 months in jail for corruption. Before his disappearance, Tommy met with Abdurrahman, triggering speculation that he had tried to strike a deal to avoid serving time. Abdurrahman, who has admitted meeting with Tommy, denied that any agreement was struck.



Posted in General @ 03 January 2001 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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