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03/04/02 . By Richard Gibson, Dow Jones Newswires . Yahoo News . US
McDonald's Calls Indonesia Incident A 'Misunderstanding'
DES MOINES , Iowa -(Dow Jones)- McDonald's Corp. said late Tuesday a police summons of its Indonesia licensee for a questionable loan was based on a "misunderstanding."
The statement from company spokesperson Rini Wardhani came in response to a report from Jakarta quoting police as saying the owner of McDonald's restaurants in Indonesia hadn't appeared for questioning Monday. He had been subpoenaed over what authorities suggested was an illegal multi-million-dollar loan, the report had said.
Jakarta Police Lt. Col. Anton Wahono was quoted in the report as saying that the licensee, Bambang Rachmadi, was accused of using family connections to obtain a 40 billion rupiah, or about $4.1 million, loan from the state-run Workers' Pension Fund. Rachmadi was identified as a son-in-law of former Indonesian Vice President Sudharmono.
When he didn't appear for questioning Monday, police suggested he had left the country, possibly for Australia .
But the McDonald's spokeswoman said the story was based on "erroneous reports and a misunderstanding." She said Rachmadi had repaid the loan in question last year and was away on a previously scheduled business trip. His whereabouts wasn't disclosed.
"Upon his return he will resolve any outstanding matters with the authorities, " Wardhani said. She said the man had provided information to authorities about the matter only last month.
Rachmadi's company, PT Ramako Gerbangmas, owns and operates 13 McDonald's restaurants in Indonesia , McDonald's said.