Jakarta – Disgraced taxman Rafael Alun Trisambodo attended the opening hearing of his corruption trial on Wednesday only to discover that his wife might soon join him as a co-defendant.
He stands accused of accepting bribes totaling Rp 16.6 billion ($1.1 million), which he allegedly used to purchase land, properties, jewelry, luxury vehicles, and high-end branded bags.
During the hearing at the Jakarta Anti-Corruption Court, prosecutors contended that the defendant's wife, Ernie Meike Torondek, played an active role in the criminal activities, even though she has not yet been formally identified as a suspect.
Since 2015, Rafael has purportedly acquired at least 70 luxury branded bags for his wife, amounting to Rp 1.6 billion, according to prosecutors' statements in court. These bags feature renowned brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermes, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Givenchy, and Gucci.
In 2008, the couple established the financial consulting firm Cubes Consulting, and four years later, they launched the construction company Bukit Hijau Asri.
Last year, they established the consulting firm Artha Mega Ekadhana, with Ernie serving as the chief commissioner. The company engaged a tax consultant to assist corporate clients in resolving tax disputes with the government, which prosecutors deemed a clear conflict of interest given Rafael's profession.
"Since May 2002, the defendant, along with Ernie Meike Torondek, has allegedly accepted bribes totaling Rp 16.6 billion," prosecutors told the court.
Rafael lost his job after being identified as a corruption suspect in March.
Prosecutors further added to the family's legal woes by linking the corruption case to his troubled son, Mario Dandy, who is being tried for aggravated assault on a teenager.
According to the indictment, Rafael used the illicit funds to purchase a Toyota Land Cruiser for his son at a price of Rp 2.1 billion in 2020.
The son's actions initiated the family's legal troubles. A video depicting him brutally attacking a teenager on February 20 went viral, prompting the public to scrutinize the family's lifestyle. It was revealed that Mario frequently showcased luxury vehicles and opulent living on his social media.
The public outcry prompted the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to initiate an investigation. This led to the discovery of banknotes amounting to billions of rupiah stored in Rafael's safe deposit boxes.
In a separate inquiry, the Finance Ministry charged Rafael with undisclosed wealth and issued dismissal threats, prompting his resignation. Furthermore, Rafael is confronted with a second indictment related to a money laundering charge, currently under investigation by the KPK.