JAKARTA. Bank Indonesia (BI) will start cracking down on unlicensed money changers by imposing a maximum punishment of closure or a Rp 1 billion (US$75,000) fine after Apr. 7, the deadline for them to apply for a free license.
"As stipulated in the law, BI can shut down illegal money changers or slap them with a Rp 1 billion fine," said the director for extraordinary economic crimes at the National Police's Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim), Brig. Gen. Agung Setya, on Wednesday.
BI legal department head Rosalia Suci added that BI would seal money changers’ shops and if the owners damaged the seals, they would be charged with committing a criminal act.
The central bank has given money changers the chance to apply for the license since Oct. 6 last year to reduce extraordinary crimes and collect more accurate data about foreign currency demand and supply in the country to come up with effective monetary policy.
Corrupt officials, money launderers, tax evaders, drug traffickers and terrorists often use money changers to transfer foreign currencies to their partners in Indonesia, said the officials.
Licensed money changers will have to report their transactions monthly to BI so that crimes can be identified faster.
The requirement to obtain a license includes business registration as a firm (PT) owned fully by Indonesian citizens with a minimal capital up to Rp 250 million (US$18,276) depending on the business location.
Source : The Jakarta Post