Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Deputy Chairman Laode M Syarif said that the owners of many mines were not known. They owed the state Rp. 23 trillion for not paying taxes.

Laode explained that around 24 percent of mining companies are not known who owns them. These anonymous companies also never pay taxes and are estimated to have caused losses to the state of up to Rp 23 trillion.

“About 24 percent of mines do not have a tax file number. They owe the state around Rp. 23 trillion, and we do not know at all who owns these companies,” said Laode.

It was conveyed in a conference on ‘Beneficial Ownership Transparency’ with the President and CEO of the Natural Resources Governance Institute (NRGI) Daniel Kaufmann, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Ignasius Jonan, expert staff to the Minister of Finance Suryo Utomo, and expert staff for the Presidential Deputy 2 Yanuar Nugroho.

After the leakage of several names of Indonesian officials and business people in the Panama Papers in 2016, Indonesia, together with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), launched a target of disclosure of beneficial ownership (BO) in the mining industry. This target is a complicated step that cannot be completed in a short time.

“I do not think there is any need for Beneficial Ownership roadmaps anymore because we have tried. It remains only to practice how it is carried out. If we make the roadmap, it will be longer,” said Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Ignasius Jonan on the same occasion.

Regarding Laode and Jonan’s explanation, Yanuar Nugroho, Expert Staff to the Presidential Deputy 2, stated that this problem could not be solved solely by relying on the government. There must be good cooperation with other agencies that can carry out supervision.

“We no longer rely solely on the government to deal with this mine ownership issue. Nevertheless, we have to cooperate with other agencies like the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), “said Yanuar.

At the end of the conference session, the President and CEO of the Natural Resources Governance Institute (NRGI), Daniel Kaufmann, also concluded that every country facing this problem must build good cooperation with all elements of its nation. Kaufmann’s conclusion is also based on the Deputy Minister of Public Administration of Mexico Eber Torres and Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine Olena Sukmanova, who were present at the same opportunity.

“There must be collective action. Neither agency can do this on its own. So that whatever is done shows that government, industry, and civilians are working together,” said Kaufmann.

“It is essential to complement each other. It cannot focus on just one aspect. Who is the person behind this? Who, how much, what contract or agreement? These three pieces of information are essential, and we can triangulate them. It cannot be just one of them” said Kaufmann ending the conference session.