Muhammad Aulia, Jakarta. The Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, made a shocking revelation on Wednesday that 134 tax officials are indicated to be in possession of shares in hundreds of companies.
The finding is the continuing saga of tax and customs officials owning suspicious wealth and flaunting assets on their social media posts that triggered public outrage in recent weeks.
Pahala Nainggolan, a KPK deputy in charge of corruption prevention, said the commission will coordinate with the Finance Ministry to investigate the matter.
"According to our record, there are 134 tax officials who apparently have shares in 280 companies," Pahala told reporters at the KPK headquarters in Jakarta.
Most of them have appointed their wives as nominee shareholders, he added.
But Pahala admitted that the case can be tricky for the commission to launch a criminal investigation due to a change in regulation.
The previous government regulation strictly banned civil servants from owning shares, but the existing rule is vague about the issue, Pahala said.
The current regulation doesn't strictly ban civil servants from doing business as long as it's conducted "within the ethical boundary and has no conflict with their obligation" as public officials, Pahala added.
Problems arise because many of the companies where those tax officials have a share are labeled as tax consultant firms, posing an apparent conflict of interest, he said.
"You are a taxman and you have a share in a tax consultant firm. We are investigating this," Pahala said.