Jakarta plans to limit cash transactions to fight bribery

JAKARTA •Indonesia's government has proposed a law to Parliament to limit cash transactions to curb bribery and money laundering in South-east Asia's biggest economy, the head of the country's anti-money laundering watchdog has said.

The draft Bill, which limits any cash payments to a maximum 100 million rupiah (S$9,520), will be assigned as a legislative priority for this year, said Mr Ki Agus Badaruddin, head of the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK), adding that he hoped the Bill can be approved later this year.

"Basically, the assumption is this restriction will reduce the space in which one can commit acts of money laundering and terrorism financing," said Mr Badaruddin yesterday.

No details were given on how such a law could be enforced.

Some 85 per cent of transactions in Indonesia are in cash and are harder to track than those done through banks or other electronic channels, making it a challenge for the government to fight money laundering, corruption and terrorism financing.

Mr Badaruddin was cited by media as saying PPATK had detected a rise in bribery, with most transactions done with cash.

BATTLING CRIME

Basically, the assumption is this restriction will reduce the space in which one can commit acts of money laundering and terrorism financing.

MR KI AGUS BADARUDDIN, head of the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre.

PPATK had found more than a thousand suspicious cash transactions that could be related to the upcoming regional elections across Indonesia, versus 53 suspicious transactions done electronically, Tempo.co reported.

Indonesia is set to hold elections for mayors and governors in June. Next year, the world's fourth most populous country is going to have parliamentary and presidential elections.

Indonesians have to contend with high levels of graft in many areas of their life and money politics during elections is often rife despite efforts by the country's independent anti-corruption eradication agency.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 19, 2018, with the headline 'Jakarta plans to limit cash transactions to fight bribery'. Print Edition | Subscribe