Apply Money-Laundering Laws to Graft: Lawmaker
A lawmaker is calling for antigraft officials to rely more on counter-laundering laws, because they have teeth.
Indra, a member of House Commission III overseeing legal matters, said a 2010 follow-the-money statute can deprive corruptors of ill-gotten gains and is more effective than other anti-corruption laws.
“Money is all the corruptors need to buy the dignity of state officials. Thus, it may be true as [antigraft commission chairman] Abraham Samad says, as long as corruptors have money, they [retain their freedom]. So impoverishment may be more effective than detention,” the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) politician said in a discussion in Jakarta on Saturday.
He said the public and all stakeholders had to push law enforcement institutions — police, prosecutors, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and National Narcotics Agency (BNN) — to use the 2010 money laundering statute.
Indra said it was also important to apply the law uniformly so the public wouldn’t question when it was used.
“If someone is convicted of corruption worth hundreds of millions [of rupiah], then that’s how much money they should have to pay back. If the corruption was proven, but [assets] weren’t confiscated, then the public is definitely going to question that,” Indra said.
Agus Santoso, deputy chief of the Financial Transactions Report and Analysis Center (PPATK) said the statute applies retroactively, catching acts that may have occurred before it became law. The PPATK in the past cooperated with police, prosecutors, customs officials, the tax office and other agencies.
Agus explained that under the money- laundering law, the burden of proof shifts and the accused has to prove the legitimate origins of the cash or other assets, or else have them confiscated.
“There’s no requirement that [prosecutors] have to prove the origin … [instead] the defendant has to prove where the money came from or else be sanctioned under the law,” said Agus on Saturday.
He added that there were three kinds of money launderers under the law, active, passive and facilitators. In addition to main actor status, he said, the law provides for criminal liability for passive-type or facilitator money laundering.
Last week an academic expert also called on anticorruption investigators to use the law to prosecute those obstructing it in the performance of their duties after they were prevented from seizing vehicles in the beef import graft scandal.