Police Promise to Probe Officer’s Rp 95b Account

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).

“We’ll probe the accounts to see if there’s any truth to the allegations,” Insp. Gen. Edward Aritonang, a spokesman for the National Police, said on Sunday. “If they prove true, then we won’t hesitate to conduct an internal inquiry or even charge the person in question.”

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 general’s name before submitting its report to the presidentially appointed Judicial Mafia Eradication Task Force this week.

“From 2005 to 2008, this general received payments from individuals and private companies,” said Tama S Langkun, an ICW researcher. “We hope the task force can order the PPATK [ Financial Transaction Reports Analysis Center] to trace the transactions back to their sources.”

PPATK chairman Yunus Hussein is also a member of the task force.

“If the money was obtained legally, there should be no problem,” Tama said. “However, 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.”

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 “soft stance” against corruption within the force.

“The PPATK automatically reports any suspicious transactions to the police, so you have to wonder why the police never picked up on this,” 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 “there is no evidence of money-laundering or bribery” linked to the accounts of the 15 officers. Nivell Rayda

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Police chief denies Rp 95b in high-ranking officer’s bank account

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