Jokowi's call to impoverish corruptors just a gimmick: Graft watchdog

CNN Indonesia – April 19, 2021
President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo at Presidential Palace in Jakarta – Undated (Biro Pers)

Jakarta – Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) investigator Wana Alamsyah says that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's call to impoverish corruptors in order to recover state losses is nothing more than a gimmick – a trick to attract attention.

According to Alamsyah, Widodo's call, which was conveyed to law enforcement officials, is the opposite of the reality on the ground.

"The facts on the ground are actually that only a few cases are handled using the money laundering [law]", said Alamsyah during the launch of the 2020 Corruption Prosecution Trends Report which was broadcast live on the Friends of ICW YouTube channel on Sunday April 18.

Based on data gathered by ICW, out of the 442 corruption cases which reached the criminal investigation stage and the declaration of suspects in 2020, as many as 394 cases were prosecuted using the articles on state financial losses, 22 using the articles on extortion, 20 on bribery and three cases on gratification.

ICW found that only three cases were prosecuted using the articles on money laundering. The three cases were the Jiwasraya insurance corruption case, the Danareksa Securities case and the prosecutor Pinangki Sirna Malasari bribery case.

In prosecuting corruption cases, law enforcement officials tend to use Articles 2 and 3 of Law Number 8/2010 on the Prevention and Eradication of Money Laundering Crimes.

These articles are related to state financial losses and do not focus on seizing the assets of corruptors in order to impoverish them.

"This is counter-productive in terms of the President's vision of seizing assets or impoverishing corruptors", said Alamsyah.

On the other hand, in terms of the preparedness to seize corruptors' assets, the Draft Law on the Seizure of Assets has not been included in the priority national legislation program (prolegnas).

Because of this, ICW is recommending that the government immediately prioritise the seizure of assets so that the idea of impoverishing corruptions and recovering state losses can be quickly realised. (iam/eks)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Permintaan Jokowi Miskinkan Koruptor Dinilai Hanya Gimmick".]