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Army chief sanctioned counterfeiting, report says.

JAKARTA, July 12 Kyodo

Indonesian army chief Gen. Tyasno Sudarto sanctioned the production of counterfeit money worth 19.2 billion rupiah (about $2.1 million) for military use in East Timor, the Jakarta Post reported Wednesday quoting a defendant in a counterfeiting case.

Ismail Putra, a retired army major, told the Central Jakarta District Court that Tyasno was the chief of the Indonesian military intelligence agency (BIA) when the counterfeit money was produced from July last year through February this year.

"Pak Darto knew very well that this fake money production was for the interest of the Indonesian military and (to settle) problems in East Timor," he told the court, adding later that "Pak Darto" is Tyasno, now the army chief.

The general also paid a visit to the counterfeiting facility in Jakarta, he said.

Tyasno's office could not immediately be reached for comment on the testimony.

Before last year's referendum in East Timor, many press reports said pro-Jakarta militias, which went on rampage of arson and looting after a majority of people voted to reject rule by Indonesia, complained they received counterfeit money from the military.

Tyasno was the BIA chief from January 1999 through November 1999, before being promoted to army chief.

Prosecutor Sujitno told the court that defendants have said 15.8 billion rupiah of the fake money was destroyed because of its low quality.

But he added 1.6 billion rupiah was with another defendant, identified only as A. Khui, and 1.8 billion rupiah was with a man identified as Tyasno Sudarto.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:Jul 17, 2000
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