Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Paradise for Money Laundering

Indonesia, including Bali, is currently considered as one of the best place for money laundering, especially related to enormous flow of investment in tourism industry all activity sectors.

Head of Bali Branch of Indonesian central bank, Viraguna Bagoes Oka, noted Bali as one of paradises for money laundering. “There is quite significant potential considering a lot of business investments in the area”, he told the press on Thursday, July 16th, after a discussion about money laundering.

He further pointed to the weak regulation giving chance for money laudering to take place unidentified. More than traditional way of money laundering such as banking, hotels, and foreign exchange, there is also significant potential in property sector. “Property transactions involved large volume foreign operatives”, he said.

Therefore he invited related stakeholders including banking industry in Bali to play active role in preventing money laundering by enforcing tight regulation. Impact of money laundering goes wider than just economy but also law and social issues. “We encourage banks to record details of their customers especially those involved in large transactions”, he said.

Bagoes Oka admitted that money launderings are quite difficult to identify, as the sum of large transaction can be splitted into smaller chunks involving many individuals. Among anticipation he suggested is close monitoring of customers' ID.

Deputy Director of the Central Bureau of Analysis and Reporting of Financial Transaction (PPATK), the body responsible for taking care money laundering cases, admitted that there are many issues which have not been included into the money laundering regulation, including property transactions which normally involve large sum. “This is something which we need to improve in the future”, he said.

He further exposed that there have been money laundering cases brought into the Court of Justice. “So far there have been about 700 cases forwarded by PPATK for police follow up”, he said. Meanwhile Bagoes Oka said that the central bank reported money laundering suspicions to PPATK for further follow up.