Money Laundering Efforts Boosted

JAKARTA ~ The country’s anti-money laundering watchdog has reported a sharp increase in suspicious transactions but added that convictions remained low.

“For this month alone, there has been a 100-percent increase. This means an average of eight to nine reports daily,” Yunus Husein, head of the Indonesian Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center, said on Tuesday.

Husein told a press conference here that a lot of the reports concerned identity fraud, “typically used in opening bank accounts.”

Since 2003, the state-formed anti-money laundering centre has reported more than 400 cases to the authority, but only seven convictions have been made under money laundering laws.

“The rest of the cases were tried under corruption laws and other legislation,” Husein said, after the opening of an international workshop on money laundering, attended by 142 delegates from more than 40 countries.

The workshop, according to Arun Kendall from the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), hopes to highlight methods criminals use to launder money.

Indonesia, together with Australia, share chairmanship of APG, set up in 1997 to set guidelines against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

After one year of being closely monitored, Indonesia was removed from the list of non-cooperative countries of the inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force, in February this year.

The task force believed Indonesia is making “sustainable efforts” in fighting such crimes.

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