Minister Mahfud reaffirms commitment to addressing land mafia issues

Minister Mahfud reaffirms commitment to addressing land mafia issues

Coordinating Minister of Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD during the National Symposium of Constitutional Law in Bali on Tuesday (May 18, 2022). ANTARA/HO-Humas Kemenkopolhukam).

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD reaffirmed his commitment to addressing land mafia issues by setting up a cross-institutional team, with members including from the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

"We will address the land mafia issues, and we have agreed to set up a cross-institutional team, which includes (members from) the KPK, to conduct the procedure and assessment (for the cases)," Mahfud stated at the Presidential Palace here on Monday.

He also affirmed that the government and law enforcers will take legal action against anyone involved in land mafia crimes.

"We will be firm if any criminal indication is detected, as we will work from bottom to top. The Attorney General's Office will take firm measures to investigate (the cases), and we will continue seeking justice at the civil court even after the criminal court verdict has legal force," the coordinating minister stated.

The land mafias have illegally seized land plots legally owned by individuals and the government, Mahfud stated while adding that the government also understood that in some cases, land mafias somehow won the court case brought up by the rightful owners to reclaim their land.

"The landowner never sells his or her land, and somehow, the land is already in the other person's name. When they question (the issue), (the mafia) told them to settle the dispute in the court, yet when they fight (for their land plot) in the court, they lost the case. This often occurs," he remarked.

The coordinating minister also highlighted President Joko Widodo's (Jokowi's) instruction to address the residents' land issues and settle all payments of land that the government acquired from residents.

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"The president has instructed that (the government) must be firm to defend the people's rights, and the state will also observe any regulations that instructs the government to pay for the land," he noted.

In recent months, the police and the Attorney General's Office have investigated illegal land seizures perpetrated by land mafias.

Earlier, Minister of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning Sofyan Djalil explained that some 63 land mafia cases had yet to be addressed as of 2021.

He said that of the 63 cases detected by the authority, some modus operandi employed by the criminals are document falsification, illegal land occupation, and manipulation in the court. 

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