Online Gambling Transactions up to 327 Trillion, Government Promises to Form Task Force – 2024-04-20 06:06:09

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Hadi Tjahjanto (center) accompanied by Minister of Communication and Information Budi Arie Setiadi (right), Minister of Social Affairs Tri Rismaharini (left)(MI/Usman Iskandar)

MINISTER of Communications and Information (Menkominfo) Budi Arie Setiadi said the government had decided to create a task force to eradicate online gambling. This, said Budi, was decided at an internal meeting chaired by President Joko Widodo or Jokowi at the Presidential Palace Complex, Jakarta, Thursday (18/4).

Also present were National Police Chief Listyo Sigit, Attorney General ST. Burhanuddin, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs (Menkopolhukam) Hadi Tjahjanto, Cabinet Secretary Pranomo Anung, and Minister of State Secretary Pratikno and Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Financial Services Authority (OJK) Mahendra Siregar.

“The decision this week will be to decide on steps to form an integrated task force in the context of eradicating online gambling,” said the Minister of Communication and Information.

According to him, the task force will work holistically, different from the existing task force. It consists of law enforcement, Kominfo, OJK, and the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK). Budi Arie explained that the task force worked holistically because Kominfo could only close online gambling sites. Meanwhile, OJK carried out account blocking involving law enforcement officials.

Chairman of the OJK Board of Commissioners, Mahendra Siregar, added that OJK has been collaborating with Kominfo when it receives a list of accounts that are suspected to be used or are being used as part of online gambling activities. OJK, he continued, can immediately block it.

“The number is around 5 thousand accounts in the past few months,” he said.

Also read: Indonesia Officially Becomes a Member of the FATF Money Laundering Supervision Working Group

The number of accounts, he continued, was based on OJK observations at the end of 2023 to March 2024.

Online gambling activities, explained Mahendra, are not only domestic. However, cross-border involves actors from abroad.

“There are also things that are done not through a bank account. There are those that require in-depth investigation and tracing of bank accounts. This includes transferring books and so on,” he explained.

Also read: 400 Thousand Online Gambling Sites Closed by Ministry of Communication and Information

He said that does not mean the current task force is ineffective. However, the basic problem has not been completely resolved.

Budi Arie said that from PPATK data, the circulation of money from online gambling reached IDR 327 trillion in Indonesia. Based on statutory regulations, emphasized Budi, gambling is illegal in Indonesia.

“The important thing is that the steps are carried out effectively because if it’s just one institution, the Ministry of Communication and Information, it can’t, our authority is only to take down (the site), the site. Block the OJK account, the OJK can’t do anything further, it has to be legal officials. So that’s why everyone has to work together K/L,” explained the Minister of Communication and Information.

Also read: PPATK records online gambling transactions in Indonesia reaching IDR 200 trillion

He also conveyed the possibility that the Task Force would be under the coordination of the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs. When asked about the possibility of money laundering (TPPU) resulting from online gambling, Budi Arie admitted that the perpetrators were becoming more sophisticated. Some even put their funds in crypto currency. According to Budi Arie, ASEAN is one of the regions with the most online bookies.

When asked about allegations that a number of artists or celebrities were involved in promoting online gambling, the Minister of Communication and Information emphasized that he would investigate them.

“Yes, we won’t be able to stare at each one,” he said. (eng/Z-7)

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