Some 1,834 suspects detained in illegal levy cases: Chief minister

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - A total of 1,834 suspects have been detained by the police till July 2017 in illegal levies cases, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto said.

"Until July 2017, the Illegal Levy Elimination Task Force (Saber Pungli) has conducted a red-handed arrest against 917 cases, detaining 1,834 suspects," Wiranto stated at the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs in Jakarta on Tuesday.

He explained that the suspects netted in the Saber Pungli Task Force operations included the parties, most of whom were thugs, who often disturbed peace by extorting and collecting illegal funds from the public. There were also officials from the government agencies.

"The task force retrieved around Rp17 billion funds during the arrest," he explained.

Wiranto, who is a former Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) Commander, explained that the amount of evidence obtained was not as much as those obtained by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). However, he claimed that the performance of Saber Pungli task force can directly benefit the community.

"For example, public transport drivers cannot take home the entire income for their families because their income is reduced due to the illegal levies. We must be brave and strong enough to eradicate such problems. Therefore, we have set up the Saber Pungli Task Force," he revealed.

Related to this extortion, Wiranto, who is also a former Chairman of the Hanura Party, also reminded the public that they should not be afraid of reporting such cases to the authorities.

"Reports can be filed through SMS, direct telephone, or through a website. We can settle it all. All those illnesses, which are inherited from the Dutch era till this day, should be healed," Wiranto remarked.(*)