An Indonesian financial intelligence unit has warned of financial violations and money politics during next year's legislative and presidential elections unless monitoring efforts are enhanced.
The Financial Transaction Reports Analysis Center (PPATK) said on 5 July that the number of suspicious transactions jumped by 30 percent in six months, from around 12,000 early this year to some 16,000 in June. The transactions, which involved domestic and foreign transfers, totaled millions of dollars.
The sharp increase in suspicious transactions has been visible for some time, with PPATK reports suggesting that such transactions at banks and non-bank financial institutions almost tripled from 2,055 in 2005 to some 5,831 in early 2007. A transaction is considered suspicious if it involves, among other things, a sudden transfer of money without clear explanation about the sender or the purpose of the funds.
The PPATK did not rule out the possibility that the cash transactions were connected to politicians and political parties. The election law limits donation from individuals at Rp 1 billion per candidate and from groups or companies at Rp 5 billion. Political parties and presidential candidates are banned from receiving foreign donations. Violations carry a maximum punishment of one-year in jail and/or a fine amounting to twice the amount of money received.
Some are calling for cooperation between the General Elections Commission, the Election Monitoring Body and the PPATK to strengthen the monitoring of money channeled to political parties and politicians.
The legislative election will take place on July 9, 2009, with the first round of the presidential election to take place about three months later. The campaign period for the legislative election will begin on Saturday and conclude on April 5 next year.
Source: Jakarta Post 7 July 08, Suspicious transactions spike ahead of elections