House Proposes to Grant Amnesty to Graft Suspects, Money Launderers

BY :JAKARTA GLOBE

OCTOBER 07, 2015

Jakarta. After proposing to limit the Corruption Eradication Commission of its powers, the House of Representatives is also drafting a law which could grant amnesty to those who commit corruption and money laundering, on the precondition they bring their foreign assets back to Indonesia.

The Finance Ministry earlier proposed that tax evaders with assets overseas be granted amnesty so long as they bring their assets back to Indonesia in a bid to help boost tax revenue. However, the House believes that this privilege should also extend to corruption and money laundering cases.

Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) lawmaker Hendrawan Supratikno said there is an estimated Rp 3,000 trillion ($217.8 billion) stashed by tax evaders, embezzlers and money-launderers in bank accounts overseas. Hendrawan argued that money would boost the Indonesian economy significantly if it is brought back to the country.

The proposed bill “will allow [suspects] to avoid criminal charges like tax evasion, corruption and money-laundering,” Hendrawan said as quoted by Kompas.com.

He however added that that a line will be drawn for funds derived from terrorism, narcotics and human trafficking.

“Do we [the Indonesian government] want to be angels or do we want to accept the money?” Hendrawan continued. “If we insist on being angels, other countries will cheer [since] they get to keep the money.”

The bill was drafted by the House Legislation Committee in a meeting on Tuesday night.

Four parties including the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the Golkar Party, the National Awakening Party (PKB) and the United Development Party (PPP) supported the draft, Tribunnews.com news portal reported.

The four parties, along with the People's Conscience Party (Hanura) and the National Democratic Party (NasDem) supported another bill, also drafted on Tuesday night, which would limit the anti-graft agency's (KPK) power. The bill also proposed that the KPK be disbanded after 12 years once it is passed into law.

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