Monday, 20 May 2013 | 08:33
To keep with the oil-to-gas fuel conversion program, the government is planning to
build 73 CNG stations, working with PGN and Pertamina.
Monday, 20 May 2013 | 07:30
Employers suspect that sugar import process had been compromised, allowing
industry-allotted imported sugar to leak into the general market.
Friday, 15 June, 2012 | 17:52 WIB
Fooled by False Investments
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:The scandal involving Jaya Komara is a perfect example of the dangers of half-hearted law enforcement efforts. Having escaped from shady practices in the past, the businessman became involved in another fraudulent investment business named Langit Biru (Blue Sky) cooperative. The police only made a move after tens of thousands of people fell victim to the false investments.
The police should have conducted investigations on the Cikasungka resident for his questionable business two years ago. Jaya collected money from people through a company, Transindo, using a multi-level marketing system. Boasting high interest rates, Jaya claimed that the funds would be invested in the beef business. However, the Capital Market and Financial Services Supervisory Agency (Bapepam-LK) suspected the shady practice and froze Transindo’s business license.
The problem lies in the fact that Jaya Komara was not charged for with any legal violations nor put on the black list of problematic businesspeople. Due to that, he returned to similar actions under the flag of the Langit Biru cooperative. Jaya offered a lucrative sharing system: a profit of Rp1.7 million per month for each Rp10 million invested.
Many investors were drawn to the promising outlook. Within a less than a year, Langit Biru was able to gather 150,000 investors, mostly from the middle to lower-class community. The amount of funds managed by Langit Biru was substantially large: Rp6 trillion. The money invested by new investors was used to pay the cut of old investors and so on. Eventually, the ‘system’ reached saturation point and the situation got out of hand as there was no more money to be shared. Thousands of people were upset because they did not receive their share of the profits as promised. Jaya Komara, Langit Biru founder, was nowhere to be found.
There is nothing original about Jaya Komara’s scheme. There are dozens of similar cases with slight variations. Among others was the case involving a company, Qurnia Subur Alam Raya, which hit the headlines in 2002. The company attracted 6,000 investors by promising them 15 to 20-percent profit each month. The investors began to demand their money after the company went bankrupt and could not return the investors’ funds. Similarly, in 2003, Add Farm promised 44-percent in profits each year to its investors but instead caused them to lose Rp455 billion in total.
The government must take serious action against business practices that harm people. Transindo’s suspension, for instance, should automatically lead to close monitoring of the manager’s activities. People like Jaya Komara should not be allowed to run a cooperative or any kind of investment businesses that collect funds from the public.
It was odd that the Banten Cooperative Board issued a permit for Langit Biru cooperative that allowed the company to gather public funds. The cooperative was registered as consumer cooperative. Such irregularities need to be followed up. The police must be serious in hunting for Jaya Komara. Without full effort to solve the case, perpetrators of similar crimes will never be deterred from harming the public.