Vincentius Amin Sutanto: Sukanto Tanoto’s Lost Son

Vincentius Amin Sutanto: (Tempo/Muradi)

Vincentius Amin Sutanto, the whistle-blower in the Rp 1.25 trillion (US$129.47 million) tax evasion scandal at Sukanto Tanoto’s compnay Asian Agri and who is himself serving an 11-year prison term for embezzlement, has been granted release on parole.

Deputy Law and Human Rights Minister Denny Indrayana said on Friday that Vincentius, former financial controller at Asian Agri, deserved leniency for his role as a justice collaborator in the case.

“The release on parole takes effect from Jan. 11. This is a reward for Vincentius,” he said.

Amin Sutanto Vincent (Vincent) is the former financial controller at the Asian Agri Group owned by tycoon Sukanto Tanoto. He was tried for swindling money from PT Asian Agri Oil and Fats Ltd.. Singapore, a subsidiary Asian Agri. Together with two colleagues, Hendry Susilo and Agustinus Ferry Sutanto, Vincent setup two companies to hold funds of U.S. $ 3.1 million from Asian Agri.

Vincent had not yet had time to enjoy that money. Comrade Vincent, Hendry, withdrawn USD 200 million, before the act got uncovered. After that, Vincent fled to Singapore. In the midst of his flight, Vincent had asked forgiveness for Sukanto Tanoto, but failed. This man eventually chose to go home and complain to the Corruption Eradication Commission about alleged tax evasion committed Asian Agri.

Vincent is currently serving his jail term at Cipinang penitentiary after being found guilty of embezzling Asian Agri’s funds. Vincentius attempted to swindle $3.1 million from the company but only managed to secure Rp 200 million.

In December 2012, the Supreme Court found Asian Agri guilty of tax evasion and told the giant company, owned by business tycoon Sukanto Tanoto, to pay Rp 2.5 trillion in fines. The court also sentenced its former tax manager Suwir Laut to two years in prison.

The verdict became the court’s first ruling on a tax evasion case.

Denny said that the biggest tax evasion scandal in the country would not have been uncovered without Vincentius’ vital role and testimony. “We have carefully examined the parole. He deserved the parole because he was not the main perpetrator in the scandal, he admitted his wrongdoing and willingly cooperated with law enforcement agencies to uncover the tax evasion,” Denny said.

Denny hoped that the release on parole would encourage other justice collaborators.

Recently, Vice President Boediono called on the country’s court system to lower the sentence for whistle-blowers and justice collaborators in tax scandals. “We will provide incentives for those who can help investigators dig deeper,” said Boediono.


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