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Bali: The Great Escape

High-Profile Defendant in Major Indonesian Graft Cases Escapes Jail to Attend a Bali Tennis Tournament.

(11/13/2010) While the island of Bali has received numerous international awards pointing to the island's popularity as an international tourism destination, it received a somewhat more dubious distinction as "the great escape" when a notorious former tax official was reportedly seen among the tennis spectators attending the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions 2010 at Nusa Dua on Friday, November 5, 2010.

Court-side, enjoying the tennis action, was Gayus Tambunan the immensely wealthy tax official charged with graft and causing the State millions of dollars in lost revenues through collaborating in tax cover-ups with major corporate clients in Indonesia.

That Gayus was in Bali enjoying tennis was initially dismissed as an impossibility by both the press and government sources. Police officials denied even the possibility that a man officially behind bars at the National Police Mobile Brigade Headquarters (BRIMOB) in Depok, South Jakarta, might be attending a tennis match in Bali. However, denial quickly turned to embarrassed silence when diligent reporters discovered that Gayus was not in his prison cell but "officially" away visiting a doctor. Key keepers at the lock-up were humiliated further when pictures surfaced in the national press of a man looking remarkably like Gayus in a bad wig and dark-framed glasses at the Bali tennis tourney.

High ranking justice and police officials rushed to the jail cell where they confirmed that Gayus has repeatedly taken extended leave from his cell after paying generous "tips" to his guards. The guards involved in the case are now undergoing intensive questioning and will likely find themselves on the other side of the prison bars as bonus compensation for their beneficence.