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Indonesian authorities collaborating with Interpol in online gambling crackdown

The Indonesian National Police are collaborating with Interpol to crack down on the growing problem of online gambling in the country.

Gambling, both online or land-based, is illegal in Indonesia.

Citing comments from Inspector General Krishna Murti, the head of the International Relations Division of the National Police, Tempo.co reported that the country’s police are having a technical-level meeting this week with Interpol’s Senior Officer Meeting on Transnational Crime, which is being held in Laos.

The goal of the collaboration is to increase the exchange of information between the Indonesian police and Interpol, which can help identify, track down, and take action against online gambling operations within Indonesia.

In addition to working with Interpol, the National Police will also be cooperating with the police forces of neighboring countries, as many Indonesian nationals are involved in online gambling operations in Southeast Asia.

To prevent these individuals from leaving Indonesia to engage in online gambling abroad, the National Police have revoked passports, restricted, banned, and prevented the departure of those suspected of being involved. 

Indonesia’s government has also instructed telecommunications providers to block access to websites operating out of Cambodia and the Philippines that are suspected of being linked to illegal online gambling.

This move comes as Indonesia’s Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center has reported a concerning surge in online gambling activity. In the first quarter of 2024 alone, over IDR600 trillion ($36.4 billion) in transactions were flagged as potentially related to gambling.

Joko Widodo, Indonesia, online gambling
Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo established a special task force in June 2024 to crackdown on online gambling

Participants and organizers of a gambling event can be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison and a IDR25-million ($1,500) fine.

Meanwhile, those distributing online gambling software can face up to six years in prison and a IDR1-billion ($60,000 dollars) fine.

Authorities say the number of people involved in online gambling has reached 3.2 million, often targeting young people and those from low-income households. Thousands of bank accounts suspected of being used for illegal gambling have been temporarily blocked.

Kongah said that the number of transactions suspectedly related to gambling activities has been increasing in recent years. His office recorded some 11,000 online transactions in 2022 and some 24,000 online transactions in 2023.

In the January-May period this year, some 14,000 online transactions were recorded, he said.

“All these figures have shown that our problems related to online gambling are very worrying,” he noted to Xinhua News Agency, adding that some 5,000 bank accounts suspected to be related to online gambling have been temporarily blocked.

The funds were also detected to have flowed out of Indonesia to other countries, such as Thailand, the Philippines and Cambodia.

According to a recent report from the Ministry for Communications and Information, more than 2 million online gambling sites have been blocked with the use of artificial intelligence systems and cyber patrols, Xinhua reported.

However, online alternative gambling sites continue to appear, with authorities continuing to ramp up search for those operating and promoting such sites.

To address the crisis, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo established a special task force in June 2024 to crackdown on online gambling across the archipelago, following reports that some online gambling operations are also linked to money laundering.

Nelson Moura
Nelson Mourahttp://agbrief.com
Editor and reporter with 10 years of experience in Greater China, namely Taiwan and Macau, in printed and online media, with a focus on finance, gaming, politics, crime, business and social issues.



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