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| Tuesday, 23 October 2018 |
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Exposing Setya`s Network
Indonesian House Speaker Setya Novanto sits on a wheelchair as he is escorted by investigators and aides upon arrival at Corruption Eradication Commission office in Jakarta, Nov. 19, 2017. AP
Thursday, 30 November, 2017 | 07:50 WIB
Exposing Setya`s Network

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) must charge Setya Novanto, a suspect in the electronic ID card (e-KTP) corruption investigation, under the money laundering law. This would help the KPK uncover the roles played by Setya and other individuals in his network.

The money laundering allegation arose from Setya's seemingly inexplicable wealth. The Golkar Party politician submitted a State Official Wealth Declaration Report when he became speaker of the House of Representatives in 2014. At the time, he reported Rp144 billion in assets. But he is believed to be worth more than the amount he reported. For example, his luxurious home in Jalan Wijaya XIII, Jakarta, is thought to be worth Rp200 billion.

Setya can be brought under money laundering charges at least under articles 2 and 3 of the money laundering law. Article 2 states that assets obtained from corruption or bribery counts as money laundering, while article 3 concerns individuals who transfer funds from corruption with the aim of concealing them or disguising their origin. Anyone found guilty can be jailed for 20 years and fined Rp10 billion. The KPK must, therefore, prove that Setya was involved in corruption or bribery in order to indict him for money laundering.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a body established by G7 nations to combat money laundering and terrorist funding, has detailed several methods of money laundering used by public officials. In its report Laundering the Proceeds of Corruption (2001), FATF states that companies are often used by corruptors to launder money obtained through their crimes. This is because, in many countries, it is easy to establish and dissolve companies. Another benefit is that these companies can conceal the identities of their real owners, making it difficult for law enforcers to gain access to documentation. Corruptors also often use their family members and attorneys, through the establishment of one or more companies, to channel proceeds from their crimes.

It is possible that these methods were used by Setya. The KPK has evidence that Mondialindo is the majority shareholder in Murakabi Sejahtera, a participant in the e-KTP tender process. Both companies have offices on the 27th floor of the Menara Imperium building in Kuningan, Jakarta, which Setya owned from 1997 to 2014. Setya's wife, Deisti Astriani Tagor, controls half of Mondialindo's shares, while Setya's daughter, Dwina Michaela, was once a Murakabi commissioner. Setya's nieces, nephews and children are also recorded as shareholders, both in Mondialindo and Murakabi Sejahtera.

Last Thursday, the KPK questioned Deisti Astriani as a witness for Quadra Solution managing director Anang S. Sudiharjo in the alleged e-KTP corruption case. The KPK has done the right thing and must continue the investigation much deeper into the companies with links to Setya and his family. Under the Money Laundering Law, even companies that are involved can be punished.

By tracing the flow of e-KTP corruption funds, the KPK will be able to uncover the network of people involved in the affair, thought to have cost the state Rp2.3 trillion in losses. Do not stop at Setya. Other individuals, whose names come up during questioning in court, must be investigated. After exposing suspected corruption, KPK also has to investigate suspected money laundering. Assets must also be examined carefully. The KPK could ask for assistance from the Center for the Reporting and Analysis of Financial Transactions to look into this.

Read the full article in this week's edition of Tempo English Magazine

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