Indonesian Minister flags online gambling’s link to money laundering   

Jenny Ortiz 1 month ago
Indonesian Minister flags online gambling’s link to money laundering   

Indonesia’s Communications and Information Minister, Budi Arie Setiadi, has raised concerns about money laundering activities connected to online gambling. The Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK) identified these suspicious activities in the first quarter of the year.  

According to local media reports, the minister discussed the issue during a meeting with the House of Representatives Commission I, which oversees communications, defence, intelligence, and foreign affairs. He indicated that money obtained from gambling winnings is being laundered but refrained from providing specific details about the cases.  

Significant financial impact of online gambling  

Coordinating Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Minister Hadi Tjahjanto previously disclosed that online gambling activities from January to March amounted to a transactional value of Rp100 trillion (€5.7 billion). This figure represents a significant portion of the total Rp327 trillion (€18.5 billion) in online gambling transactions recorded for the entire year of 2023.  

Commission I member Nurul Arifin from the Golkar Party highlighted the substantial economic losses due to online gambling and questioned the effectiveness of the ministry’s measures to combat it. She referenced the ministry’s claim of blocking 800,000 online gambling sites last year and expressed scepticism about the success of these efforts given the high transactional values.  

Commitment to combating gambling  

In response, Setiadi reiterated the ministry’s dedication to eradicating online gambling, emphasising the detrimental impact on family finances and national well-being. He noted that the financial losses incurred by Indonesians benefit other countries, underscoring the importance of tackling this issue.  

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has established a special interministerial task force to address the proliferation of online gambling. This task force, led by senior minister Hadi Tjahjanto, includes Setiadi overseeing prevention efforts and National Police Chief Gen. Listyo Sigit Prabowo handling enforcement.  

Legal ramifications of gambling in Indonesia  

In Indonesia, all forms of gambling are illegal, with severe penalties for participants and organizers. Under Article 303 of the Criminal Code (KUHP), those involved in gambling activities face up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to Rp25 million (€1,418). Additionally, distributors of online gambling software could be sentenced to six years in prison and fined up to Rp1 billion (€56,730) under the Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law.  

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