|Subject: Arms Plot Tied to RI Govt [+Seeks
6 Sukhoi Jets; U-Boats]
The Jakarta Post (web site) April 14, 2006
Air Force says man arrested in U.S. its supplier
JAKARTA (JP): The Air Force has said Hadianto Djoko Djuliarso, 41, the director of PT Ataru Indonesia, who was arrested by U.S. authorities for plotting to buy hundreds of handguns, machine guns, Sidewinder missiles and aviation radar equipment, is one of its suppliers.
Hadianto of Indonesia, Ibrahim Bin Amran, 46, of Singapore and Ignatius Ferdinandus Soeharli and David Beecroft, whose ages and nationalities were not given, were arrested Sunday.
The men were arrested after meeting in Hawaii with people they thought were representing a U.S. company, which authorities say the men believed would provide the military hardware.
The weapons were to be shipped to Indonesia through Singapore.
Court papers did not indicate whether the men were buying the equipment for the Indonesian government or whether it was a sting operation.
"I do not know why they were arrested, but I can confirm that Hadianto of PT Ataru Indonesia is one of our suppliers," Air Force spokesman Sagon Tamboen told Utan Kayu radio Friday.
Tamboen, however, could not confirm that the weapons, which were seized by the U.S. authorities, were to be sold to the Indonesian Air Force. But he said the force needs aviation radar equipment.
An indictment in Detroit identified Hadianto and Ibrahim as owners of four businesses located in or doing business in Indonesia and Singapore. Ignatius financed the purchases and Beecroft attended the meeting in Hawaii to arrange shipment of the items, according to court papers.
All four men were charged with conspiring to violate the U.S. Arms Export Control Act, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and a US$250,000 fine, AP reported.
Hadianto and Ibrahim also were charged with violating export and money laundering laws. The first violation carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and $1 million in fines; the other, 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
The men are being held in Hawaii but will be transferred to Detroit to answer charges, the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday.
The Honolulu Advertiser
By Ken Kobayashi
A man — one of four charged as part of an international conspiracy to illegally export weapons and military aircraft equipment — plans to cooperate with authorities and says the ultimate destination for the equipment was the Indonesian government, his defense lawyer said yesterday.
Ibrahim Bin Amran, a Singapore businessman, was like a "broker" or "middleman" on behalf of a co-defendant, Hadianto Djoko Djuliarso, according to Amran's attorney, Michael Park.
As part of a plot to export aircraft equipment and weapons, Amran also is accused of trying to get price quotes for 245 Sidewinder missiles.
Although Amran has mentioned military aircraft equipment, Park said his client didn't say anything to him about weapons or missiles.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Thomas, a prosecuting attorney in the case, declined to comment on whether the arrests resulted from a sting operation. He also would not comment on the ultimate destination of the equipment and weapons.
Amran and Djuliarso were indicted by a federal grand jury in Michigan last week on charges of conspiring to violate the Arms Export Control Act by trying to purchase and export equipment and weapons without a license. The potential seller is an unnamed U.S.-based company that the defendants believed had a representative based in Detroit, according to court papers.
The two men arrived in Honolulu on April 7 along with David Beecroft, a British citizen from Singapore, and Ignatius Ferdinandus Soeharli from Indonesia, according to court documents. After meeting with representatives of the company, the four were arrested here Sunday and have been held at the Federal Detention Center.
Beecroft and Soeharli are charged here with conspiring with Djuliarso and Amran to violate the federal export law.
The conspiracy charge carries a prison term of up to five years.
The prosecution's cases as outlined in the federal grand jury indictment and an affidavit by an agent of the immigration and customs enforcement office allege a conspiracy that involved communications from Indonesia and Singapore and meetings in London, Detroit and Honolulu.
The documents say money was sent as partial payment for the purchase of aircraft equipment, but they do not allege that any of the equipment, weapons or missiles were actually delivered to the defendants or exported.
At a court hearing yesterday, federal Magistrate Judge Leslie Kobayashi ordered Amran and Djuliarso be transferred to Michigan to face the charges there.
She ordered Soeharli to be held without bail. Beecroft did not show up at the hearing, but his lawyer, Richard Gronna, earlier indicated he would not oppose the prosecution's request to hold his client without bail.
The three men sat separately in the courtroom jury box, each handcuffed and in ankle shackles. They wore prison attire of light blue shirts and dark pants. Djuliarso and Soeharli needed the help of an Indonesian interpreter, while Amran was able to understand the proceedings.
When asked whether he knew he would be transferred to Michigan, Djuliarso protested through the interpreter that "he didn't do anything in Michigan."
But Kobayashi told him he could answer the charges in Michigan.
Djuliarso's lawyer, Alvin Nishimura, declined to comment on his client's case, while federal Assistant Public Defender Matthew Winter said they're eager to see the prosecution's evidence.
"We're looking forward to fighting these charges," he said.
Djuliarso and Amran were identified as owners or associates of several companies, including Ataru Indonesia, which does business in Singapore and Indonesia. That company also is named as the company trying to purchase the equipment and weapons.
The conspiracy allegedly began in March last year when a worker for a company owned by the two men sent an e-mail to the U.S.-based company seeking to export military parts to Indonesia even though it was against the law to export those items to the Southeast Asian country.
The indictment and affidavit also allege:
# In July last year, Amran asked for quotes for prices of aircraft armaments for 245 Sidewinder missiles and 5,000 rounds of strafing ammunition. There is no mention of what action was taken on the request.
# In January, Amran received a quote of $3.3 million from a U.S. based-company for 882 submachine guns, 800 9mm handguns and 16 sniper rifles. He said he wanted to buy and export the items even if a license for those transactions could not be obtained.
# On March 31, Djuliarso and Amran sent $447,000 to a U.S. based-company as partial payments for military aircraft parts that included a radar system.
The U.S. attorney in Detroit has called the case "a serious and grave threat to our national security." U.S. Attorney Stephen Murphy III said the individuals were "ready, willing and able to buy American weapons and take them outside the country."
NO TERROR CLAIM
Hawai'i's U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo has said the case did not involve exporting the weapons for terrorism.
The defense statement that the aircraft parts were intended for Indonesia comes even as the United States is exploring increasing military cooperation with that country.
The New York Times last month reported that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called for an expansion of a "strategic partnership" with Indonesia, including increased military cooperation, after the U.S. decision last year to resume military aid that had long been cut off because of Indonesia's poor human rights record.
In a speech while in Jakarta, Rice said Indonesia had made progress in combating military corruption, the Times reported. "A reformed and effective Indonesian military is in the interest of everyone in this region, because threats to our common security have not disappeared," she said, according to the Times.
Indonesia seeks to buy six Sukhoi jets from Russia
JAKARTA, April 14 (AFP) -- Indonesia is considering buying six more Sukhoi jets from Russia to beef up the country's air force, the defense ministry said Friday.
Indonesia's finance ministry had yet to approve the purchase but high-level inter-ministry talks regarding the plan had already taken place, said defense ministry spokesman Sutrimo.
He said President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono would discuss the matter in greater detail on his June visit to Moscow.
"We hope that by July this year, the government-to-government deal can be already signed. According to the Russians, the planes should be available for us to use by early 2007," Sutrimo told AFP.
He gave no further details and did not mention any figures.
The purchase would be in line with government efforts to build a squadron of Sukhoi and bring the total number of Sukhoi jets owned by Indonesia to 10. A normal Indonesian air force squadron would be made up of 12 planes.
Indonesia was forced to look for new arms suppliers after the United States imposed restrictions on military sales and cooperation over concerns about rights abuses committed by the Indonesian armed forces in East Timor in 1991.
The United States, eager for Indonesia's assistance in the "war on terror", lifted the arms restrictions and resumed full military ties last November.
Indonesia Refurbishes Their U-Boats
Indonesia wanted to expand its submarines force, and replace two thirty year old German subs. But their was no money. New subs cost over half a billion dollars each, although Russia was offering better prices on new Kilos. But Indonesia had a bad experience with Russian subs back in the 1960s. The two German type U209 boats they bought in the 1980s had proved sturdy and effective. But they are old boats. So Indonesia made a deal with South Korea, which also operates German subs, to refurbish their two boats. The first one took two years, but in addition to replacing worn parts and checking for any hidden damage, lots of new navigation and weapons systems were installed. The two German boats will thus be good for at least another ten years. By then, the navy hopes to get the money for new subs, or used boats of recent vintage.
South Korea was eager to get the business, as South Korean shipyards are building more warships, including subs. Doing the Indonesian refurbs at a favorable price is expected to make South Korea a leading contender to supply Indonesia with new boats in the future. Meanwhile, Russia is trying to sell diesel-electric boats to Indonesia, and is offering the possibility of financing and low prices. But after using German boats for so long, the Indonesians will need to be convinced that Russian subs can compete.
Joyo Indonesia News Service