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Gov't to keep eye on tin miners following Harvey Moeis's $17b graft case

Jakarta Globe - April 5, 2024

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – The government is planning to keep the tin mining sector on close watch using a digital app following a major graft case involving businessman Harvey Moeis.

Harvey has been making headlines for facing corruption and money laundering allegations. Harvey was suspected of being a middleman to facilitate illegal mining operations in areas owned by the state-owned tin miner Timah. Other suspects include socialite and businesswoman Helena Lim, as well as three former directors at Timah. The scandal potentially caused state losses worth a whopping Rp 271 trillion ($17 billion) in environmental damages as a result of the illegal mining activities.

To prevent history from repeating itself, the government is pinning its hopes on Simbara. This is a system that lets the government digitally monitor the entire mineral management processes, including the mining permits, tax payments, and exports, among others. Different ministries and government bodies will also be able to keep an eye on the shipping processes as well as the foreign exchange from the export activities in real-time. According to Chief Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, work is underway at the Mineral Resources Ministry to integrate tin mining activities into Simbara.

"Once the tin is within the Simbara system, we can trace the origin and check if it is orderly, and have the businesses pay their taxes and royalties. This is related to our state revenue," Luhut said on his personal Instagram account.

"The [Simbara] system automatically blocks producers from export activities if they have done their obligations [pay taxes]. Hopefully, we can finish [integrating tin into the system] within the next two months," Luhut said.

Luhut admitted that the government was quite late on the Simbara drive. He added: "This tin [graft] case should be a lesson for us. I have to admit that we are quite late in integrating everything into Simbara."

Today, the Simbara system is already tracking the coal mining sector. Luhut claimed state revenue from coal businesses grew by almost 40 percent after Simbara began monitoring producers of the combustible black rock. There are plans to also include nickel in the system.

The Attorney General's Office (AGO) summoned Harvey's wife Sandra Dewi on Thursday as a witness to the case. Sandra made headlines for giving a "finger heart" to reporters shortly before entering the room. The gesture immediately sparked negative reactions online, considering the mammoth-sized state losses.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/govt-to-keep-eye-on-tin-miners-following-harvey-moeiss-17b-graft-cas