We will join hand in combating corruption in the country
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - No more "crocodile and gecko fight" as the Indonesian Police and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) have agreed to forge closer cooperation in the fight against corruption practices in the country.

The "gecko vs crocodile" term became popular when a then police official had referred the KPK as a powerless gecko trying to fight a crocodile referring to the police force, in a "conflict between the two institutions" in 2009.

At that time, several officials of the two institutions seemed to have been competing with each other in handling corruption cases.

But, the two institutions have changed such a perception and tried to forge sound ties between them since the past several years.

In December 2013, the then national police chief, general Sutarman paid a visit to the KPK office.

"We paid a courtesy visit to the KPK leadership. There will be an integration of all the investigators, namely, police investigators, the attorney general offices investigators and the KPKs investigators. We will join hand in combating corruption in the country," the head of the National Polices Crime Investigation Department (Bareskrim), Commissioner General Suhardi Alius, said after joining the visit to the KPK.

The good tradition was continued by the new Police Chief, General Tito Karnavian, who was installed as the Police chief by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on July 13 to succeed general Badrodin Haiti, who entered retirement period.

General Tito Karnavian visited the office of the anti-graft agency on August 19, 2016, to strengthen cooperation between the two law enforcement institutions.

It is crucial for the two institution to establish close cooperation as they could complement each others strengths in combating the rampant corruption practices in the country.

The KPK has a strong political reputation, adequate budget, and sound internal culture, while the National Police has an extensive network and some 430 thousand personnel, according to the General.

"I have been in charge for one month only. The KPK colleagues wanted to visit the Police Headquarters. I then said (you) have frequently visited the headquarters, and in fact, I am the one who wants to come here," Karnavian stated at the KPK office.

Karnavian was accompanied by Bareskrim Head Commissioner General Ari Dono, Deputy Head of Bareskrim Inspector General Arief Sulistyanto, and Polices spokesman Inspector General Boy Rafli Amar.

KPK Chairman Agus Rahardjo, Commissioner Saut Situmorang, and Basaria Panjaitan greeted the Police chief.

As the General explained that the visit aimed to strengthen relations and enhance cooperation.

The National Police have prepared a draft MoU expected to intensify cooperation between the KPK and Police.

"In principle, the National Police and KPK support each other. We are ready to support the KPKs initiatives," he remarked. During the meeting, the National Police and KPK agreed to jointly investigate certain corruption cases.

"We agree to conduct joint investigations on several certain cases that we consider necessary," Karnavian stated.

The two institutions have decided to not only prioritize investigating loopholes in central and regional governments spending but also irregularities in the state revenues, such as those concerning taxes, customs and excise, and state-owned companies, he remarked.

While in the KPK building, Karnavian also wanted to hold a meeting with police investigators working for the KPK. "I will have an opportunity to talk to the investigators from the police here, as they are also my kids," he added.

A total of 72 police investigators have been assigned to help the KPK, but nine of them have entered retirement period or asked for early retirement as police officers.

Ten days later, on August 29, the two institution were engaged in concrete cooperation.

The Police and KPK organized a joint training program for their investigators to equip them better for the purpose of eradicating corruption.

Around 200 participants attended the training organized at Padang Barat, Padang, West Sumatra Province.

Besides Tito Karnavian, the opening ceremony of the training was also attended by the deputy attorney general for special crimes, Arminsyah, the chief of KPK, Agus Rahardjo, State Audit Board official Agus Joko Pramono, the head of the Finance and Development Supervision Agency (BPKP) and the head of the Financial Transactions Reporting and Analysis Center (PPATK), Muhammad Yusuf, and other police and government officials.

The National Police hailed the training program proposed by the KPK, Karnavian said in a written statement.

He pledged that the National Police (Polri) is committed to tackling crimes related to corruption and improving coordination with other law enforcement agencies.

The Polri declared a war against corruption because it has badly affected the life of the people.

He stressed that the police force at present has 22 regional commands and more than 500 resort police commands.

Both institutions are committed to be in the frontline in preventing and eradicating corruption.

"The point is that we are concerned over the rampant corruption situation in Indonesia. To combat it, Polri and KPK should strengthen the coordination and synergy in the corruption eradication cooperation," he said.

The KPK chief, Agus Rahardjo, lauded the bilateral cooperation, saying that basically the anti-graft agency is ready to establish cooperation with any institution, as KPK could not be a single fighter in the fight against corruption.

Reporter: Fardah
Editor: Priyambodo RH
Copyright © ANTARA 2016