Lion Air has been accused of extortion by one of its Saudi Arabian business partners.
Businessman Miski Omar Hassan’s invested U$S 18 million in the indonesian airline Lion Air. Guntur P. Daulay, Mr. Omar Hassan’s lawyer offered a press conference on Saturday:
“Because our client maintained that there was no transparent business report delivered by [Lion Air’s] management, our client demanded that he get his money back. However, because the [the airline] couldn’t afford to return the funds, Lion Air owner Rusdi Kirana put up $1.5 million of his own money.
“Later, though, the money that was lent [by Rusdi] was said to have been embezzled by our client,” Guntur continued.
Omar was summoned by the Jakarta Police office on May 6 after missing two previous summons.
“Our client was unaware of the two previous summons because he was abroad at the time,” Guntur said. “Then, on May 6, he was detained.”
On May 7, a representative with Lion Air requested that Omar pay back the $1.5 million debt to settle the conflict. The company also asked Omar to give up his assets and his apartment if he could not afford to return the sum.
Omar, however, refused to pay, and Guntur maintained that Lion Air is guilty of extorting his client.
Edward Sirait, the general affairs director of Lion Air, denied the accusation.
Edward claimed that Omar is a travel agent who paid Lion Air a deposit to sell the airline’s tickets. He also questioned how Omar could think that he would receive a 100 percent return on his earlier investment.
Additionally, he said that Omar should handle the matter of the investment separately from the Rusdi Kirana loan.
“If it is related to business, there has been an agreement between both parties. We’re open to talking about the tickets and other [business related] matters. But the $1.5 million is a different thing.”
Furthermore, Edward accused Omar of running away after receiving the money.
“He had no intention of returning the money … that’s why we reported him to the police.”
Source: The Jakarta Globe