Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Brokers all over

US have mortgage brokers all over on the sub-prime crisis, we have stock brokers behind the repo chaos, and now we're busy talking case brokers to stop corruption investigations.
It's all about MONEY...My friend once had to stay in Jakarta police custody for one night due to a police report by his business partner. Police officers asked for Rp60 million to get him out that night. He rejected to pay because he had no money left in his account, embezzled by the business partner. The junior police officer tried to negotiate. He reduced the tariff to Rp50 million. My friend said "Ok, let me ask my friend, hopefully he could help." My friend called a former KPK officer and tell his story. "I'm a victim in this case. My business partner squeezed me, paid a police officer to put me in jail," my friend complained.
"So, you got it?" the police asked? My friend said, "No. I guess I will stay here tonight." The police quickly reminded, "well, this is Friday, we could extend the detention until Monday."
My friend was lucky that when he woke up the next morning, the police officer said "you may go now." That easy? Well, because the former KPK guy called and the police boss was terrified. But how many people could enjoy such a luxury of terrifying police officers from asking money from the victims or criminals? Most of them ended up paying lots of money to have their cases dropped or their reports processed...
So, when Susno Duadji, former police detectives chief, disclosed the existence of brokers to stop a tax crime investigation and embezzled Rp24 billion, imagine how much they made from conglomerates like Sjamsul Nursalim or Marimutu Sinivasan? And in most business disputes, case brokers (at police or attorney general's office) could get from both sides of the isles, pretty much similar to stockbrokers who will get from sellers and buyers of the stocks...
They're not alone. Some politicians could openly offer "services" to executives of state-owned companies or major companies they summoned to the House of Representatives (DPR) for "public hearing". "If you need catering services, my friend could provide," or "Hey, let me know if you need my pressure to have your brokerage firm appointed as underwriter of the SOEs IPO or privatization."...Without brokers, it's difficult to imagine how blue-chip companies like Telkom put substantial funds in a bank like Century, right? Without brokers from the power structure, it's hard to imagine how someone won a contract to supply this and that to the SOEs...Or have they changed?



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