Government set to stamp out `Mafia` from Tanjung Priok port

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government said it is set to stamp out Mafia" from Tanjung Priok, the culprit responsible for lengthy dwelling time at the countrys busiest port.

For that purpose, a task force has been set up by the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs chaired by Ronnie Rusli Higuchi.

The port Mafia are those illegally seeking to gain from longer time needed in goods loading and unloading activities at the port, Ronnie said after a meeting at the office of the coordinating minister here on Tuesday.

The lecturer of the state University of Indonesia said the 'Mafia' like organized crime was behind extortion and mark-up rife at the port.

When asked who was responsible for allowing 'Mafia' to operate at the port, he said it was PT Pelindo II, the state owned port operator.

"The management is held by Pelindo II," he said.

Earlier, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Rizal Ramli said Pelindo II gained from the extra time spent for loading and unloading at the port.

The task force is given a month to clean the port .

President Joko Widodo has made special order for the Coordinating Minister that in October, only three to four days are needed for dwelling time at the port.

Currently dwelling time at Tanjung Priok is five to six days, forcing importers and exporter to pay substantial extra cost.

Rizal said he would not hesitate to deal with government officials or importers or exporter involved in Mafia activities.

Ronnie, who was picked by Rizal Ramli to take the job of heading the Task Force, is authorized to name anyone responsible for lengthy dwelling time at Tanjung Priok.

Earlier, on order from the president, Jakarta police launched investigations of alleged graft related to dwelling time.

A number of suspects have been named and arrested including foreign trade director general Partogi Pangaribuan, who was caught red handed receiving graft money.

A senior official with position the level of director general at industry ministry has also been summoned for questioning.

The trade ministry and industry ministry are two of a number of government agencies authorized to issue recommendation for import license.(*)