Mahfud MD Warns Public Against Impeding Money Laundering Inquiries
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law, and Security Affairs Mahfuld MD on Thursday called for state officials and members of the general public – including lawyers – to avert hampering investigations towards money laundering.
The former anti-money laundering task force leader made it clear that hindering an official investigation by law enforcers is punishable by law. Mahfud also mentioned a past case of a hampered investigation against former House Speaker Setya Novanto.
“Setya Novanto’s lawyer at the time did not steal anything and he only said that Setya cannot be questioned. [He insisted] that Setya was not in the wrong and claimed he was ill. But in the end, Setya was arrested and was handed a 7-year incarceration verdict,” said the minister in a press conference held virtually on June 8.
Mahfud reiterated the fact that money laundering is a preposterous crime that undermines state finances. He mentioned the recent case of Rafael Alun – a former tax office official – who was subject to a police inquiry after it was revealed that he had a total wealth of Rp56 billion.
“But after that Rp500 billion was uncovered. Just a couple of days later new information emerged from the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) of Rafael Alun’s assets that was believed to have been sourced from money laundering in Central Java,” he said.
He insisted that individuals who impede an investigation can be charged on par with the suspects themselves. “Those impeding an investigation can be considered to have committed the same act of corruption,” said Mahfud MD.
Within a month of the initiation of the money laundering task force, the team determined 18 reports as a priority for examination, because their significant value reached 80 percent of the total transactions or Rp 281.6 trillion. Of the 18 reports, 10 have been submitted by PPATK to the Directorate General of Customs and Excise (DJBC) of the Ministry of Finance, the Directorate General of Taxes of the Ministry of Finance, and the Inspectorate General of the Ministry of Finance.
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