, pub-9591068673925608, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Claims of Successful Intelligence Operations Reply to Rebuttals - MEDIA MONITORING OIL AND GAS -->

Claims of Successful Intelligence Operations Reply to Rebuttals


    Finally the long-awaited information from the Iranian Embassy in Jakarta regarding Ghassem Saberi Gilchalan (49) arrived. Sunday (12/12/2021) morning, a Whatsapp message was received from the Public Diplomacy officer of the Iranian Embassy in Jakarta, Ali Pahlevani Rad. He wrote in Indonesian, “This afternoon we will send a response from the embassy, ​​yes, sir.”

    In less than half an hour, he sent an answer letter to the Kompas team's questions. The question via letter was sent to Ali, Monday (29/11), or 11 days before the first issue of Gilchalan was published, Thursday (9/12).

Majid A.K.A Gilchalan

    The question relates to a request for confirmation about Gilchalan's figure and his confession regarding intelligence activities carried out in Indonesia. A day before the first article was published, Kompas reminded Ali as well as informed him of the plan to publish the article.

"Thank you for the information provided," he replied.

 After the article was published, Kompas again sent a message to Ali reminding him to ask for confirmation, but he didn't reply. The response to Gilchalan just emerged after the publication of the fourth article entitled "The Mask of Building an Intelligence Base in Bali" which was followed by a promo for the last article entitled "Intelligence Operation Claimed to be Successful".

    The letter from the Iranian Embassy signed by the Head of the General Diplomacy Section of the Iranian Embassy, ​​Bita Zolali, among others, denied Gilchalan's intelligence operations.

"The various oblique accusations that have been submitted relating to his activities in Indonesia are untrue and baseless," he said.

    He said Indonesia and Iran are two friendly countries with good and historic relations. In fact, in 2020, the two countries will celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relations full of constructive cooperation.

"In this regard, parties who are not happy with the development of bilateral relations between Iran and Indonesia are trying to abuse various things for their evil purposes," he said.

"The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran has an obligation to protect the privacy of its citizens and in accordance with Iranian regulations and various international conventions and with full respect for the laws of the host country, only defending the rights of its citizens abroad."

Mission claim successful

    Meanwhile, Gilchalan claimed that his operation in Indonesia was successful. He conveyed this in a written statement in Persian that he made for law enforcement or when he was met by Kompas at the Class IIA Youth Correctional Institution in Tangerang, Banten, November.

MT Horse Tanker

    The mission is to free the Iranian tanker, MT Horse; “I came to Indonesia to help the Iranian tanker, MT Horse, which was being tried in Batam. The Iranian government sent me to help free the ship and return it to Iran," he said.

    Gilchalan's arrival to Indonesia, May 18, coincided with the trial of the MT Horse tanker. The ship was confiscated by the Maritime Security Agency in Kalimantan waters in January 2021 for violating shipping lanes. MT Horse transports 1.8 million barrels of crude oil, the value of which can reach Rp. 25 billion.

    MT Horse was confiscated while transferring its cargo of oil to a Panama-flagged tanker, MT Freya. In a trial on May 25, the panel of judges at the Batam District Court, Riau Islands, sentenced the captain of MT Horse, Mehdi Monghasemjahromi, to a year in prison with two years probation, the same as the prosecutor's demands so he was not detained. The judge then ordered the skipper to be released. After the verdict, MT Horse was also released.

“Yes (the mission was successful), everything went well. The tanker was acquitted by the court," Gilchalan said.

    Before going to Indonesia, in his written confession, Gilchalan said he contacted his acquaintances in Bali and in Batam to find out the condition of MT Horse. From acquaintances in Batam, information was obtained that MT Horse was involved in legal problems, the captain was imprisoned and awaiting trial at the Batam District Court. After conveying the information to the Intelligence agent Sayed Alireza Mir Jafari who recruited him, Gilchalan was ordered to immediately go to Indonesia.

    Gilchalan then took care of a residence permit in Indonesia by contacting a visa agent in Bali. However, before leaving, he met Jafari and his partner, Monghasemjahromi, in Tehran.

    Jafari said the MT Horse tanker had to be released because it was very important. Gilchalan was provided with 10,000 US dollars or the equivalent of Rp. 140 million. However, upon arrival in Indonesia, Jafari asked him to change his destination from Batam to Bali because the tankers would be free soon.

“You have to go to Bali to build a company, then come back to Iran,” Gilchalan wrote.

    Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many places are closed in Bali. Gilchalan then reported this to Jafari and asked to return home early to Iran. The request was approved by Jafari. He asked that after Iran, Gilchalan continued the search for an Iranian citizen in Malaysia, namely Hamed Nasrallah. The person who is said to be dangerous to the country has already been stalked by Gilchalan in Malaysia.

    The results of the extraction of Gilchalan's cellphone by Indonesian law enforcement also found photos of Nasrallah's house. In his confession, Ghilcalan admitted that there was a threat from Daniel Ghorbani to the safety of his family if he continued the surveillance.

Not clear

    In his confession letter or when he met Kompas, Gilchalan did not mention how to free the MT Horse tanker. However, the results of the extraction of 11 cellphones by law enforcement found a number of traces suspected to be related to the MT Horse case. 

    On his cellphone, for example, there is a photo of MT Horse as well as a photo of three Indonesian defense and military officials. There were also several Whatsapp conversations with someone in Batam regarding the tanker's release. One of the man's messages to Gilchalan in English was:

“Brothers, from the very beginning we worked Underground for you as a shipowner, not for the embassy. If you need documents, we need a lawyer, you don't need a stamp, just your signature on paper. We will do our best for you.”

    The person in Batam referred to when confirmed, Tuesday (16/11), said Gilchalan, who claimed to be named Majid, asked for legal assistance to free the MT Horse tanker from criminal threats. When he wanted to go to Indonesia, May, 2021, Gilchalan promised to meet him, but it never materialized. 

    Extraction of Gilchalan's cellphone also found documents offering strategic consulting services and legal assistance from the Association of Cakra Sembilanbelas Nusantara (Perkasa) to Tulip Shipping Ltd, the registered owner of MT Horse.

    The letter sent in February 2021 was a response to Tulip Shipping Ltd's request to assist in the MT Horse case. Head of Perkasa Major General (Ret.) Andogo Wiradi in the letter said, to fulfill Tulip's request, a special team was formed, consisting of two institutions of strategic advisory consultants and legal assistance. In the proposal, the service is offered at US$300,000 or equivalent to Rp. 4.2 billion.

    When confirmed, Wednesday (17/11), Andogo confirmed that he had offered to offer strategic consulting services and legal assistance for the MT Horse tanker case. The information was obtained from the Iranian Embassy in Jakarta. He claimed not to know Gilchalan. However, the negotiations did not result in an agreement.

"Until the offer, no deal," he said.

    Former Head of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) Sutiyoso said BIN or the police needed to interrogate Gilchalan to trace what operations were carried out in Indonesia so that he claimed it was successful. An investigation is also needed to find out what other operations Gilchalan may have carried out in Indonesia. Former Deputy Head of BIN As'ad Said Ali said that the initial investigation could be carried out by tracing the parties that Gilchalan contacted through his cellphone.

Kompas, Page-1, Monday, Dec 13, 2021


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