House Speaker seeks special handling of illegal investments

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Speaker of the House of Representatives (DPR) Puan Maharani has called for special handling efforts from policy makers for tackling illegal investments in Indonesia that are becoming increasingly massive.

“Illegal investment cases have become more massive, so it must be a serious concern for the government, the House of Representatives (DPR), law enforcement officers, and other relevant agencies to stop them. Especially against fraudulent practices through digital investment modes,” Maharani said in a statement issued in Jakarta on Wednesday.

In the latest report from the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK), the value of illegal investment transactions has been pegged at Rp35 trillion.

She said that if there is no serious intervention, then illegal investment will continue to increase in Indonesia.

“Moreover, the increase in reports of illegal investment moves in a relatively short time. There must be special efforts to deal with illegal investment practices,” Maharani said.

According to her, there have been several and diverse reports of illegal investment transactions covering asset purchase transactions, suspicious financial transactions, cash financial transactions, and remittances to and from overseas. The number of victims of illegal investments is also not small.

“We all know that recently there have been many frauds under the pretext of binary options involving influencers. Practices like this occur because there are no rigid rules in Indonesia,” Maharani said.

She called for a clearer legal umbrella regarding investment in the digital world. That way, she said, the public would be better protected from fraudulent investment practices.

“The development of technology allows new types of fraud to occur and the state must be present as a facilitator to protect people who want to make digital investments,” she added.

It is important to intensify digital financial literacy programs for the community.

“DPR encourages the government to take preventive measures to minimize the occurrence of illegal investment practices,” Maharani said.

Meanwhile, Head of the National Police’s Security Maintenance Agency Inspector General Arief Sulistyanto noted that earlier, cases of investment fraud were handled by the police force, including the case involving the Langit Biru Cooperative in 2007, which had nearly 125 thousand victims, and the case involving Wahana Globalindo, where the number of victims reached 38 thousand and losses amounted to Rp6.2 trillion.

With technology beginning to be extensively used in the investment sector now, several people are complaining about the rise in illegal investment practices. As a result, there have been extensive losses, one of which has been the Binomo binary options trading.

“I agree with the director of economic and special crimes at the Criminal Investigation Agency. It is not enough to just investigate fraud disguised as investment. Another measure is (determining) how to anticipate, who should supervise, who should take action, and (all of those) need to be done immediately,” he remarked.

Regulations or laws that set strict sanctions have also been deemed necessary, as the manner of handling of fraud cases currently is different from before.

Further, the Criminal Code and the Information and Electronic Transactions Law (ITE) are not sufficient, as perpetrators are using information technology to erase proof, thereby making investigations more difficult.

Source: Antara News