Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hunting Corruption Suspects in Singapore

Recent success in arresting corruption suspect Gayus Tambunan (30) from his hideout in Singapore has inspired the Police to hunt other suspects who are known to be hiding in the island city.

Kompas quoted the Chief of the Police Detectives Ito Sumarsono as saying that there are around 10 to 20 suspects hiding there, including six who were involved in the 6,7 Trillion Rupiah Bank Century bail out case.

I hope that if the Police succeed in bringing back those suspects, they will be brought to justice and would not escape again.
Indonesia Seeks Singapore Help to Hunt Graft Suspects
Senin, 5 April 2010 | 18:16 WIB

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - Indonesian police want to work more closely with Singapore to track down corruption suspects who have taken sanctuary in the city state, national police chief detective Ito Sumardi said Monday. Singapore came under the spotlight last week when a young tax official suspected of laundering millions of dollars was apprehended there and returned to Jakarta.

The ease with which Indonesian police were allowed to enter Singapore, track  down the official, Gayus Tambunan, 30, and convince him to return to Indonesia has focused attention on other alleged criminals hiding there. Sumardi said 10 to 20 Indonesian suspects were living in Singapore, which has a reputation as the cleanest country in Asia. 
“We need to bring them back to Indonesia... They’re economic criminals. They consider Singapore a safe place to stay,” he told AFP. “First, our target is to bring back six suspects linked to the Bank Century case. They’re all hiding in Singapore,” he said, referring to a scandal over a 700-million-dollar bank bailout.

“After that, we’ll try to find those involved in other cases. Based on police checks, we believe the number of suspects in Singapore is in the teens, including those involved in the Bank Century case.” In a recent update to lawmakers, Deputy Attorney General Darmono said most of 18 alleged graft suspects currently subject to extradition requests were hiding in Singapore.

Another 10 had fled abroad, mostly to Singapore, but were not subject to extradition requests, he added. Sumardi said the police and attorney general’s office might be tracking different suspects and he could not provide a definitive figure for the number of fugitives believed to be in Singapore.

Indonesian officials have complained for years about what they say is the freedom enjoyed by such fugitives in Singapore, where they have allegedly pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into banking and real estate sectors.

“We’ll be working with the Singapore authorities such as the police and immigration department, and we’ll use specific approaches to convince the suspects to return to Indonesia,” Sumardi said, without elaborating.

Indonesia and Singapore signed a long-delayed extradition treaty in 2007 but it has not come into force due to Singapore’s insistence on linking it to defense ties, Indonesian officials said.


Ladyulia said...

I dont think its really important to invite singaporean to hunt the indonesian corruptor,,,,

H. Nizam said...

Thank you for dropping by.
Asking for Singapore's help in getting back the suspects would mean that we should be more serious in bringing them to justice, in the sense that if the court found them guilty, they must be punished and prevented from leaving Indonesia.
Otherwise it would shameful.

umihoney said...

Great job..kudos to the Indonesian Police.I believe that relation and cooperation between the police internationally has always been good.

H. Nizam said...

Hopefully good relationship among international polices would enable our police bring the suspects back,

Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

It is in the interests of both countries to stop Singapore becoming a haven for foreign criminals. I hope Singapore sends New Zealand criminals caught there bck to NZ too.

colson said...

Since visiting Singapore and convincing suspects to return was possible in the past, I wonder what may have been changed recently.

Some questions pop up in my mind:

(1) Has Police become much more diligent recently and have they just been lazy in previous years?

(2) Have a dramatic change taken place in the official relations between RI and Singapore after some secret compromise had been reached on territorial issues?

(3) Is Gayus just a relative too small fish without much value to Singapore's status as kind of Swiss-like haven for ultra rich white collar criminals?

Btw: is the official account of the "persuasion" ('Dear Gayus you better return with us bacause in due time you will be extradited by Singapore anyhow'), true? Is Gayus that easy to convince?

H. Nizam said...

Yes, it would be best for Singapore and other countries like Indonesia and Singapore to have extradition treaties, that way Singapore would always be a haven for criminals.

Your question about why has the Police able to bring back other suspects in the past is also shared by many people. Let me answer one by one :
1) Pressure for more firm anti corruption actions is much more stronger today.
2) In 2007 Indonesia and Singapore governments have signed a (crime) extradition treaty, but our parliament refused it because Singapore insisted that it should be connected with defence.
3) Gayus case is just a tip of the iceberg. Many people said that it is a distraction from other cases which are far more significant like the bank century case.

Re: what exactly the kind of persuasion used to bring back Gayus, I really don't know.

Gwei Mui said...

I hope that the suspects are returned and held to account. I'm learning so much about global politics, I now realise how ignorant I am. It also high lights that problems of criminal repatriation are global

H. Nizam said...

Gwen Mui,
Let's hope that all suspects would be 'returned' soon in spite of the differences between two countries.

Elizabeth Malisa said...

I hope singaporean will find him.

H. Nizam said...

Elizabeth Malisa.
I think that Singapore would not take action against the corruption suspects. But perhaps one day the would want to extradite them to Indonesia, but government of both countries should compromise.

zaylie said...

Here this is a important news Singapore came under the spotlight last week when a young tax official suspected of laundering millions of dollars was apprehended there and returned to Jakarta.More then 20 people are arrested in this corruption case.
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