crackdown on gambling

Indonesia to freeze thousands of accounts, seize billions in funds linked to online gambling activities

Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Hadi Tjahjanto.
Reading time 1:25 min

Banking accounts linked to online gambling activities will be frozen and their funds confiscated and handed over to the state, Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Hadi Tjahjanto announced on Wednesday.

“According to a court decision, we will confiscate funds from those accounts and hand them over to the state,” Tjahjanto stated during a press conference, as reported by the Indonesia News Agency, ANTARA.

The minister revealed that the online gambling eradication task force, through the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK), has identified between 4,000 and 5,000 banking accounts suspected of being used for online gambling activities. This data will be submitted to the police for further investigation and action.

The police will order the freezing of the accounts if they are proven to have been used for online gambling and announce it to the public,” Tjahjanto added. If no one claims ownership of a frozen banking account within 30 days, the funds will be turned over to the state.

The police’s Criminal Investigation Agency will trace the account owners, with the minister noting: “We will trace it, and the police will summon the account owners for investigation and legal measures.

This initiative represents the first strategy by the task force to eradicate online gambling, which is expected to be implemented within one or two weeks.

PPATK Chairperson Ivan Yustiavandana highlighted the significant sums involved, stating that the funds in these accounts amount to “hundreds of billions of rupiahs.” However, he did not provide an exact figure.

President Joko Widodo signed Presidential Decision No. 21 of 2024 on June 14 to establish a special task force for eradicating online gambling, led by Minister Tjahjanto. The President also noted the success of efforts to dismantle online gambling sites, stating: “We have managed to take down over 2.1 million online gambling sites.”

Early this month, Budi Arie Setiadi, Indonesia’s Minister of Communication and Informatics,said he was planning to meet Google’s representatives to address the issue of online gambling within the country.

Setiadi stated that the upcoming meeting will center on Google's commitment to leveraging its technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), to combat online gambling within the digital space, Indonesian news agency ANTARA reported

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