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Under new agreement, Indonesia can track ill-gotten wealth in Switzerland

Jakarta Post - February 6, 2019

Jakarta – Under a recent agreement on mutual legal assistance (MLA) between Indonesia and Switzerland, the Indonesian government is now able to more effectively track ill-gotten wealth parked by Indonesian nationals in Swiss banks, an analyst has said.

"It [the agreement] is important, especially when enforcing the law on corruption, money laundering and tax evasion, which thus far has been difficult to investigate," said Center for Indonesia Taxation Analysis (CITA) executive director Yustinus Prastowo on Wednesday as quoted by kompas.com.

"Under the MLA, it opens up the possibility [for Indonesia] to seek help in tracking wealth, determining the amount and repatriating it to Indonesia."

Based on results of the tax amnesty in 2016, Switzerland was one of the five main countries where wealthy Indonesians kept their money.

During the tax amnesty, Rp 4.8 quadrillion (US$345.24 billion) was declared by wealthy Indonesians, Rp 3.8 quadrillion of which was kept in Indonesia while Rp 1 quadrillion was kept in other countries.

However, according to the Tax Justice Network, at least $331 billion was parked overseas, a much higher figure than the Rp 145 trillion in overseas funds that were repatriated.

"It means that there is some Rp 3.5 quadrillion in funds from Indonesians that were not included in the tax amnesty. With the MLA agreement, it is easier to track the wealth," he said. (bbn)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/02/06/under-new-agreement-indonesia-can-track-ill-gotten-wealth-in-switzerland.html