Jakarta Globe, May 02, 2010
Police have vowed to launch an investigation into one of their own after an antigraft watchdog claimed a senior officer had bank accounts containing more than Rp 95 billion ($10.55 million).
â€œWeâ€™ll probe the accounts to see if thereâ€™s any truth to the allegations,â€ Insp. Gen. Edward Aritonang, a spokesman for the National Police, said on Sunday. â€œIf they prove true, then we wonâ€™t hesitate to conduct an internal inquiry or even charge the person in question.â€
Despite the strong words, however, Aritonang said the police did not yet know who the watchdog, Indonesia Corruption Watch, was referring to.
ICW has alleged that two shady accounts belonging to a two-star police general currently serving at National Police headquarters contained a total of more than Rp 95 billion. The organization, however, will not divulge the generalâ€™s name before submitting its report to the presidentially appointed Judicial Mafia Eradication Task Force this week.
â€œFrom 2005 to 2008, this general received payments from individuals and private companies,â€ said Tama S Langkun, an ICW researcher. â€œWe hope the task force can order the PPATK [ Financial Transaction Reports Analysis Center] to trace the transactions back to their sources.â€
PPATK chairman Yunus Hussein is also a member of the task force.
â€œIf the money was obtained legally, there should be no problem,â€ Tama said. â€œHowever, as a law enforcer, the general must disclose his wealth and be held responsible should the task force find indications of money laundering, gratuities or even bribes.â€
Task force officials could not be reached for comment on Sunday.
Bambang Widodo Umar, a legal analyst at the University of Indonesia, criticized the National Police for its â€œsoft stanceâ€ against corruption within the force.
â€œThe PPATK automatically reports any suspicious transactions to the police, so you have to wonder why the police never picked up on this,â€ he said.
In 2005, the PPATK reported that 15 high-ranking officers had suspicious bank accounts with money that could be traced to illegal logging, counterfeit money and gambling cases being investigated by police.
The National Police, which was helmed at the time by Gen. (ret.) Sutanto, who is now head of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN), claimed â€œthere is no evidence of money-laundering or briberyâ€ linked to the accounts of the 15 officers.â€‚Nivell Rayda