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15 September 2021 (closed)
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Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) called for an investigation into the Indonesian people and companies mentioned in the Panama Papers, the massive leak involving 11.5 million confidential documents from the database of Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. These documents list names numerous people - including of political figures, businessmen, celebrities and sport stars - who have created secret shell companies and offshore accounts in tax havens (possibly in an effort to avoid tax obligations).
President Jokowi ordered Indonesia's Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro to conduct a thorough investigation into the names of Indonesian people and companies mentioned in the Panama Papers. Earlier it was reported that around 3,000 Indonesian individuals and companies are mentioned in these controversial documents. Possibly Indonesia's soon-to-be implemented Tax Amnesty Bill (which still requires deliberation between Indonesia's government and House of Representatives) can be a solution to the matter. This bill will make it easier for tax evaders to come clean and repatriate their (previously undeclared) assets into Indonesia by offering attractive tax rates and protection from prosecution and penalties.
Indonesian authorities will use the thousands of Indonesian names mentioned in the Panama Papers for a study to assess whether they can fall under the Tax Amnesty Bill. Reportedly, the Indonesian names listed in the Panama Papers include political officials, celebrities, secret agents, and fugitives. Brodjonegoro said authorities will first check whether data in the Panama Papers are conform data stored at the country's tax office (Direktorat Jenderal Pajak).
Although having an offshore account or company in a tax haven does not necessarily imply the account holder or owner is involved in illegal activities, it is well understood that these vehicles are often used to hide assets from authorities (avoiding tax payments) and money laundering.
Meanwhile, Budi Waseso, Head of the National Narcotics Agency (BNN), said his agency will study whether funds stored in tax havens by Indonesians mentioned in the Panama Papers are related to illegal drug trade or trafficking.
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