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Government Anticipates Money Laundering Crimes Ahead of Election

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By : Arsenio Bagas Pamungkas )*

In facing the general elections (Pemilu) which will be held in 2024, the Financial Services Authority (OJK) has taken anticipatory steps that focus on reducing the risk of money laundering and illegal activities in the banking sector. 

The government and OJK, in an effort to maintain election integrity and security, have prioritized supervision of anti-money laundering (APU), prevention of terrorism financing (PPT), and prevention of funding for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (PPPSPM) in the financial services sector, especially banking.

Chief Executive of OJK Banking Supervision, Dian Ediana Rae, explained that OJK has a strong commitment to maintaining compliance with the regulations governing these programs. 

Supervision is carried out in accordance with the provisions stipulated in OJK Regulation (POJK) Number 8 of 2023 concerning Implementation of Anti-Money Laundering Programs, Prevention of Terrorism Financing, and Prevention of Funding for the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Financial Services Sector. In order to maintain bank compliance with these regulations, OJK carries out regular offsite and onsite supervision.

In an effort to prevent money laundering, OJK also prioritizes implementing effective know your customer (KYC) through enhanced due diligence (EDD) on bank customer accounts. 

The focus is on accounts held by Indonesian citizens (WNI), including politically exposed persons (PEP), as well as foreign entities and citizens (WNA) originating from high-risk countries. With this approach, OJK seeks to identify and reduce potential money laundering risks in the banking sector.

Even though the OJK is intensively taking anticipatory steps in facing the 2024 elections, they also see that the elections can have a positive impact on bank business. Chairman of the OJK Board of Commissioners, Mahendra Siregar, highlighted the fact that historical data shows an increase in consumption in the period before and after the election. 

Furthermore, several economic sectors also experienced increased activity during the period surrounding the election. This creates opportunities for national economic growth, especially in terms of credit distribution.

The importance of elections as positive momentum for the economy was the main highlight at the OJK Board of Commissioners meeting. The election is considered an opportunity to boost the performance of the financial services sector, especially banking, which can help encourage national economic growth. 

In this context, elections are considered an important moment that can have a positive impact on various economic sectors.

However, on the other hand, the North Sumatra Regional Police Chief, Inspector General of Police. Agung Setya Imam Effendi, underlined the urgency of handling the crime of money laundering (TPPU) in the context of the upcoming elections. 

Kapolda Agung, in a public dialogue at the North Sumatra State Islamic University, conveyed the important role of Regional Development Banks in fighting TPPU in the political realm in 2024.

According to Kapolda Agung, TPPU is a serious threat that needs to be watched out for in the election context. Money laundering can occur through various methods, including using third parties, such as public accountants, as intermediaries in laundering money. 

Apart from that, other methods to be wary of are the use of checks to bribe government officials and the use of fake identities to open bank accounts and create fake documents.

Regional Police Chief Agung Setya Imam Effendi explained that in the political year 2024, there are several potential money laundering risks that must be watched out for. One of them is the receipt of campaign funds from unknown parties, the practice of money politics during the campaign period, as well as the source of campaign funds originating from criminal acts. 

Therefore, the role of preventing TPPU is very important to ensure the smooth running of elections that are transparent, accountable and have integrity.

The North Sumatra Regional Police Chief also emphasized that measures to prevent TPPU must be increased, and all parties must work together to maintain integrity and jointly fight TPPU in order to realize peaceful and clean elections. 

The Regional Police Chief underlined that the North Sumatra Police have been actively taking action against TPPU cases related to Narcotics, Online Gambling and Extortion in 2022. However, TPPU action must continue to be increased to maintain election security and integrity.

The efforts made by the government and the OJK to anticipate money laundering ahead of the 2024 elections are a very important step in maintaining the integrity and security of the elections. 

Strict supervision of anti-money laundering programs, preventing the financing of terrorism, and preventing the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are priorities to prevent the risk of illegal activities in the banking sector.

As Indonesian people, we have an active role in maintaining the integrity of elections by supporting efforts to prevent TPPU and comply with regulations related to anti-money laundering programs. 

With strong cooperation between the government, OJK, and law enforcement agencies, we can ensure that elections are safe, transparent, and in accordance with strong democratic principles. Hopefully the 2024 election can be a historical milestone that strengthens the foundations of Indonesian democracy.

)* The author is a contributor to the Persada Institute

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