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Indonesia freezes 345 accounts over bogus investment schemes

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Binary options are often considered a form of gambling rather than investments. UNSPLASH/BURAK KEBAPCI

Indonesia freezes 345 accounts over bogus investment schemes

The Financial Transaction Report and Analysis Center (PPATK) has frozen 345 accounts allegedly related to illegal investment schemes worth 588 billion rupiah ($40.9 million).

“Those accounts are related to 78 persons or parties,” PPTAK chairman Ivan Yustiavandana said during a hearing with the House of Representatives Commission III overseeing legal affairs on Tuesday, as quoted by Antara.

Ivan said the financial watchdog had received 560 transaction reports believed to be related to illegal investments, which include reports on asset purchases, suspicious financial transactions, cash transactions and money transfers to and from abroad, involving 35.7 trillion rupiah.

The PPATK, he told the commission, has submitted its analyses and investigation results to the National Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim). Ivan said the watchdog would continue supporting the police with data and the names of people allegedly involved in illegal financial transactions.

The transactions include those involving crypto-assets and the usage of multiple accounts under different identities to hinder tracing.

Ivan said the PPATK had the authority to temporarily freeze transactions for 20 days and then coordinate and report to law enforcement over large suspicious transactions.

At least two social media influencers, Indra Kenz and Doni Salmanan, dubbed by Indonesian netizens as “crazy rich” for flaunting their extravagant lifestyles online, have been charged with fraud for setting up fraudulent investments through so-called binary options trading platforms.

Binary options trading operates similarly to gambling but with the added benefit of current digital technologies.

THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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