January 30, 2014

Indonesia: National Police block 146 online gambling sites

National Police chief Gen. Sutarman disclosed on Wednesday that the police had detected at least 146 online gambling sites and blocked their account numbers.

The gambling operations, which have steadily increased in Indonesia, were discovered during routine monitoring, Sutarman said.

Sutarman admitted that gambling activities had changed from conventional operations like Togel, to Internet sites using the latest state-of-the-art technology.

"All the gambling accounts were blocked and we are continuing to investigate. Of the total, 96 accounts were fictitious with some using fake addresses, while the remainder are unknown," Sutarman said as quoted by kompas.com.

He made the remarks during a working meeting at the House of Representatives' Commission III, which oversees legal affairs, in Jakarta on Wednesday.

He explained that the National Police had set up a special team to combat cybercrime. The team first traces sites offering online gambling. If there is a strong indication that an account is offering gambling services, the police immediately block the site.

With regard to the money on the blocked accounts, Sutarman added, it would be confiscated and added to state coffers. The money would be confiscated during the trial process, based on Article 3 [of the Criminal Code] on money laundering.

"We will keep on investigating [...] and any funds proved in court to be linked to money-laundering practices will be confiscated for the state," he said.

Separately, the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK) has blocked 119 accounts held at four banks, whose funds are allegedly linked to fraudulent and online gambling activities. All of the blocked accounts have used new payment methods (NPMs) for money laundering.

PPATK head M. Yusuf said NMPs were increasingly being used as alternative payment methods for cash obtained from gambling.

"This includes money from Internet gambling," Yusuf said at the PPATK in Jakarta on Friday.

He added that the PPATK had discovered 14 NPM cases using cash derived from fraud and online gambling.

Most NPMs are conducted in Jakarta (35.71 percent), followed by East Java (28.7 percent) and West Java (21.43 percent).

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