Indonesia’s anti-corruption agency (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi - KPK) has arrested Emirsyah Satar, who was president of Garuda Indonesia (GA, Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta) between March 2005 and December 2014, on suspicion of money laundering and bribery, local media have reported.

The allegations are centred on the procurement of engine parts. A middle man, Soetikno Soedarjo, allegedly paid Emirsyah large sums from Rolls-Royce and other parties in return for awarding them contracts.

The KPK said that IDR5.79 billion rupiah (USD410,000) was transferred to pay for a house in Jakarta, while payments of USD680,000 and EUR1.02 million euros (USD1.14 million) were sent to the account of a Singapore-based company owned by the former Garuda chief executive. A further SGD1.2 million Singapore dollars (USD868,000) was transferred to help him pay off an apartment in Singapore.

Soetikno allegedly received commission from Garuda suppliers such as Rolls-Royce, which he shared with Emirsyah and Hadinoto Soedigno, the carrier's former technical and fleet management director, KPK commissioner Laode Muhammad Syarif told a media briefing on August 7. Laode added that the payments were called “prizes” for awarding contracts to the suppliers.

Soetikno separately paid Hadinoto USD2.3 million and EUR477,000 euros (USD535,000) in bank transfers via an account in Singapore, Laode said.

Luhut Pangaribuan, a lawyer for Emirsyah, told Singapore's Straits Times newspaper that “Emirsyah Satar admitted receiving gratitude money from [Soetikno], but everything has been returned to him,” adding: “The money did not at all affect the decision-making process [in awarding contracts].”