Indonesia's parliament has ratified an extradition treaty with Singapore, making it easier to repatriate fugitives here, Bloomberg reported.
Indonesia: Singapore has been a final destination and transit place for "many wrongdoers"
According to Reuters, the move is expected to help the Indonesian authorities arrest people who have been accused of hiding billions of dollars offshore in Singapore.
Indonesia's minister of law and human rights, Yasonna Laoly, noted that proximity and the high number of travellers between the two countries made Singapore either a final destination or transit place for "many wrongdoers."
Loly added, "This extradition cooperation will make it easier for law enforcement to solve criminal cases in Singapore."
Both Reuters and Bloomberg further reported that the issue of an extradition treaty has been a sensitive one for Indonesia as it has complained about the difficulty in pursuing some fugitives who were accused of embezzling large sums of cash during the Asian financial crisis of 1997 to 1998.
Treaty will apply to crimes committed up to 18 years ago
According to the Coordinating Minister for National Security, Teo Chee Hean, in February 2022, the extradition treaty, which was signed between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Indonesia's President Jokowi Widodo in January 2022, will apply to crimes committed up to 18 years ago.
This is the only change from an earlier extradition treaty signed by Singapore and Indonesia in 2007, in which the given figure was 15 years.
The previous treaty was never ratified by Indonesia's parliament, Reuters reported.
Teo said that the change was made at Indonesia's request.
"We believe that the extension will provide more flexibility in the scope of cooperation for both countries," he added.
Will cover 31 types of crimes
The current treaty will cover 31 types of crimes including corruption, money laundering, bribery and terrorism, Bloomberg reported.
The extradition requests will also be based on the fugitive's citizenship at the time of their offense.
Teo pointed out:
"The benefits of the ET (extradition treaty) to both countries are clear. It will strengthen cooperation between our law enforcement agencies in combatting crime. Our hope is that the ET will also be helpful to Indonesia’s own efforts to prevent suspected criminals from fleeing overseas, and for them to be apprehended in Indonesia."
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