Last week, Indonesian officials nailed a fugitive who was hiding in Singapore. Indonesian tax department officer Gayus Tambunan was tracked down in Singapore after a week on the run and is now back in Indonesia to face charges of receiving kickbacks in return for producing favorable tax assessments.
Sound like a case of superb cross-country work between Singapore and Indonesia police right? Totally wrong because Singapore got nothing to do with it! Gayus Tambunan was caught on Orchard Road by Indonesian officials working at the Indonesian embassy. According to the story given by the Indonesian authorities, the embassy officials ‘accidentally’ saw Tambunan at a food court along Orchard Road where he was staying at a hotel. He was then ‘convinced’ to voluntarily return to Indonesia to face charges because he was staying in Singapore on an illegal passport.
So in short, we have a fugitive who was
1) allowed to enter Singapore on an illegal passport,
2) allowed to leave Singapore on an illegal passport,
3) so confident he will not be caught, he actually stayed in a hotel on Orchard Road
4) caught by Indonesian officers working in Singapore (not Singapore police, but Indonesian officers)
5) caught by ‘accident’ by Indonesian officers working in Singapore (over 5 million people in Singapore and they managed to find this one person by accident, right…)
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Forget the fact this man is accused of stealing some $3.9 million in Indonesia, that’s Indonesia’s problem, let just say I have some problems with non-appearance of Singapore authorities on the case (and I don’t think I’m alone).
Now Indonesia says that they know of at least 10 other Indonesian fugitives living in Singapore. For the sake of our own ‘face’, I strongly suggest that Singapore be more pro-active in capturing these other fugitives. Let’s not have another ‘accident’.