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Indonesia takes antigraft fight to Interpol meeting JAKARTA - Asian police forces should cooperate to strengthen efforts to fight corruption and money laundering, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Tuesday. "We should send a signal loud and clear to the corrupt everywhere that there is no safe haven anywhere for them to hide their stolen money," he said in a speech opening a three-day meeting of Asian police in Jakarta.

Yudhoyono expressed appreciation that Interpol's 19th Asia Regional Conference will discuss corruption for the first time. He hoped for the establishment of good cooperation between Asian police and Interpol member countries in the fight against corruption and its instigators. "Fighting corruption is a long-term effort, requiring both structural and cultural remedies, also strong top-bottom approaches," he said.

Indonesia's war on graft would not yield significant results for at least a generation, Yudhoyono said, highlighting the extent of corruption in the sprawling country. "I might be over optimistic but I believe that corruption can be significantly reversed in one generation." The conference, which was attended by 257 participants from 41 countries, had declared corruption an issue for discussion as part of the main agenda, along with terrorism, drugs, human trafficking and money laundering.

National Police chief Gen. Sutanto said Indonesia had proposed corruption be placed on the conference's agenda. "The success and effectiveness of law enforcement in combating corruption cases are mostly determined by adequate law enforcement strategies taken at national level, bilateral and multilateral cooperation strategies among Interpol members in Asia region," he argued. Interpol chief Jackie Selebi also underscored the importance of corruption as a key topic for discussion in the meeting.

"We must do everything in our power to eradicate corruption in our society, and within the police services. If we do not do so, we are dead, we are destroyed," he told the conference, he said. Selebi said Interpol had begun developing a global standard to combat corruption in police forces and services.

"Interpol believes that corruption diminishes the ability of law enforcement to accomplish their mission, and I would encourage every country to adopt a global standard that we have set, which is essential in maintaining effective cooperation against transnational crimes and terrorism," he said. Every national central bureau in the Asian region is now connected to Interpol's global police communication system, I-24/7, which gives direct access to vital police data, including the stolen and lost travel document database.

"This data could be very helpful for Indonesia and the other 184 member countries to trace, trap and retain those fugitives." Selebi said. Interpol cooperation between Indonesian police and the United States authorities resulted in last year's arrest of David Nusa Wijaya, who was charged with embezzling Bank Indonesia's Liquidity Support funds. He was captured in the U.S. and deported to Indonesia.

Indonesia is still searching for more than 10 convicted corruption and graft suspects who have allegedly fled abroad, including to the United states, Singapore, China, Australia, to escape justice. Last year, Transparency International ranked Indonesia as one of the most corrupt nations in the world.



Posted in General @ 12 April 2006 07:18 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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