'Bad Timing' Forces Police to Put on Hold Plan to Establish Own Anticorruption Unit

National Police Chief Gen. Tito Karnavian. (Antara Photo/Aprillio Akbar)

By : Sheany | on 7:24 PM December 29, 2017
Category : News, Crime, Featured, Corruption

Jakarta. A plan by Indonesia's National Police to establish a special anticorruption unit has been put on hold indefinitely due to "bad timing," Police Chief Gen. Tito Karnavian said on Friday (29/12).

"The plan was proposed with good intentions, the KPK (Corruption Eradication Commission) knows that. Corruption in Indonesia is so widespread… having just one institution to fight it is not enough," Tito told reporters in Jakarta.

Tito said the plan to create the police's own anticorruption unit has been in the works for almost a year, but was only recently put in the media spotlight, swept along with news of lawmakers's intensive inquiries into the KPK, which critics say are just another attempt to weaken the antigraft body.

"We will let the inquiries run their course, and when the time is right, we will create [the special unit]," Tito said, adding that the police never intended to snuff out the KPK, but instead wanted to create stronger synergy between the two institutions.

The Special Anticorruption Detachment (Densus Tipikor) will be a carbon copy of the police's counterterrorism unit Detachment 88 (Densus 88) in terms of its management.

The unit is formed reportedly to unify the presently fragmented and decentralized anticorruption units in the National Police.

The special unit will recruit between 4,000 and 5,000 staff and will be managed with assistance from the Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Ministry and the Finance Ministry.

With only about 1,000 officials, including 100 investigators, the KPK only has enough firepower to handle a few dozen cases per month, Tito said.

"So why not synergize relevant government institutions with the authority to handle cases of corruption?" he said.

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