REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, SINGKAWANG -- President Joko Widodo said the public service sector still needs improvement especially after the unearthing of illegal levies in the Palaran container terminal of Samarinda. "Rp6.1 billion (in fund) are big money. The figure is only what we have seen. It must have been suspected for a long time," the president said here on Friday night referring to the result of police raid of long-shore-man cooperative at the container terminal complex and seized Rp6.1 billion suspected to be the result of illegal levies earlier on Friday .
The president was on a visit to Kalimantan to see progress in the development especially in the frontier areas. A team of 100 police detectives from Jakarta and East Kalimantan mobile police officers early Friday raided the cooperative, Koperasi Samudera Sejahtera (Komura).
In the raid, the police confiscated Rp6.1 billion in cash and two units of computer and a bundle of documents from the long-shore-man cooperative. "It is necessary to remind us that we want to improve the existing system to speed up public services. Therefore, this (the practice of illegal levies) should not come blocking our way, when we are seeking to improve and simplify services for the business sector, exports and licensing procedure," he said.
The president warned that the movement to eradicate illegal levies is in progress. Police found that practices of illegal levies were rampant at the port especially on trucks transporting goods in and out of the container terminal complex.
Police said officers of the long-shore-man cooperative collected illegal levies on the trucks. As a result of the illegal levies, the tariff for a 20-feet container is Rp180,000 in Samarinda as against only Rp10,000 in Surabaya, East Java, and the tariff for a 40-feet container is Rp350,000 in Samarinda.
Police said they would summon and investigate Jafar Abdul Gaffar, the Komura chairman. Jafar is also chairman of the Golkar party in Samarinda. The government has launched a nation wide campaign against illegal levies since last year led by Coordinating Minister for Law, Security and Political Affairs Wiranto. Many perpetrators have been arrested especially within the transport ministry.