Sat, 25 Jan 2003

Govt requests revisions to dirty money law: DPR

A'an Suryana, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The House of Representatives (DPR) endorsed on Friday a government proposal to revise the law on money laundering that took effect several months ago, on the grounds that several clauses of the law were deemed both ineffective and incomplete.

"We have been asked by the government to revise the law, and we welcome the request," chairman of DPR Commission II for home and legal affairs A. Teras Narang said.

According to Teras, the revision centered on one clause of the law stipulating that the banks could only check alleged illicit funds, either transfers or savings, amounting to over Rp 500 million.

"The amount is too high and should be reduced," Teras was quoted as saying by Antara news agency.

However, in order to determine the precise amount, further discussion at the DPR was necessary, Teras added.

The law is also considered incomplete as it has no clause regulating money laundering where the money is gained through illegal gambling.

Teras said that the revision would take place immediately at the DPR.

Indonesia has been rushing for months to meet requirements from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on money laundering to remove Indonesia from its list of countries deemed uncooperative in the world's drive to fight the crime.

The passing of law on money laundering is part of Indonesian efforts to remove itself from the list, but FATF remained dissatisfied with the law, such that it kept Indonesia on its latest blacklist.

Currently 15 countries are included in the Paris-based FATF blacklist.

Meanwhile, Bank Indonesia has requested technical assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in order to help the central bank supervise banking activities in the country.

The technical assistance being sought relates to technicalities on how to establish a financial services authority and how to implement antimoney-laundering law, said Bank Indonesia deputy governor Anwar Nasution.

"The IMF team welcomed our request," said Anwar, after emerging from a meeting between Bank Indonesia officials and the IMF letter of intent review team visiting Indonesia on Friday.

Separately, chairman of the country's antimoney-laundering task force Junus Hussein said that the IMF and Japan were ready to grant training assistance.

Junus, also chairman of the Center for the Reporting and Analysis of Financial Transactions (PPATK), said that the foreign trainers were expected to train Indonesian supervisors and auditors to prevent money laundering from occurring in the country.