Indonesian govt establishes task force to eradicate illegal levies

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – The government has formed a task force to combat the malpractice of illegal levies following the arrest of several officials of the Ministry of Transportation who were allegedly involved in such graft.

“The task force to check illegal levies which was meant to carry out an operation to eradicate such corruption will be called OPP or Saber Pungli,” Coordinating Minister of Politics, Law, and Human Rights Wiranto said at the Presidential Palace here on Wednesday.

The minister was summoned by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to discuss the ongoing operation to check illegal levies on Tuesday evening.

“The president thinks that such illegal levies were being charged not only in just one particular ministry, and that similar complaints have been pouring in from the public at large across the country,” Wiranto added.

In view of this, the president ordered to establish a task force to effectively eradicate such illegal practices. The state has been accruing losses as a result of these practices.

The majority of the members of the task force would be drafted from the National Police.

The task force will also make available an online service for filing complaints regarding such malpractices.

The National Police had carried out a search of the Ministry of Transportations office premises on Tuesday and detained several officials for allegedly collecting illegal levies.

The officers searched the 6th and 12th floor of the Ministrys building following the allegation of officials charging illegal levies for the issuance of sea and land permits.

The search was led by the Chief of Jakarta Metro Jaya Police, Inspector General Mochamad Iriawan, who was accompanied by several high-ranking officials of the Ministry of Transportation. The operation began at 04:20 p.m. local time.

In recent months, Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi had received numerous reports about illegal payments being charged in the Ministry of Transportation in connection with issuance of licenses related to the Sea and Land affairs.

“We, along with several teams, conducted investigations and research. As a result, we found evidence of fraud and submitted the same to the police,” the minister remarked.

(Reporting by Agus Salim/Uu.A059/INE/KR-BSR/A014)