JNE: Rice packages not hoarded but buried as it had started to go bad

JNE and their lawyer Hotman Paris Hutapea held a press conference to clarify the finding of buried rice packages that were supposed to be distributed to communities impacted by Covid-19. (IO/Umamah)

“We are talking about the conditions in the field, with that much of rice some portions of it would have got damaged during the distribution. But it was small, only 3.4 tons out of 6,199 tons. About 0.05 percent or equivalent to Rp37 million,” explained Hotman.

He argued that because it had been replaced in May 2020, the damaged rice became the property of JNE. It was then stored in the company’s warehouse for 1.5 years. However, because it was stored for too long it started to rot, and the company took the initiative to bury it in November 2021.

Read: Polisi steps up investigation into food aid packages found buried in Depok

According to Hotman, the decision to bury the rice was taken to prevent it from being misused and causing further problems because it had been damaged.

“Moreover, the packages had presidential office logo on it, if we just discarded them and someone picked them up or resold them we could find ourselves being wrongly accused,” he said.

He said the packages was buried three-meter deep and was known and permitted by the land owner. (un)