Tax amnesty reveals new depths of Indonesian corruption

Indonesia’s ongoing wave of economic nationalism, which has left prospective foreign investors wondering whether they are welcome at all, apparently doesn’t extend to wealthy Indonesians bringing home cash and other assets stashed in offshore havens.

Indeed, when the country’s historic nine-month tax amnesty ended today, only 146 trillion rupiah (US$11 billion) in assets had actually been repatriated from such favored havens as Singapore, Hong Kong, and the British Virgin and Cayman islands.

That’s a far cry from the Rp1,000 trillion (US$75 billion) officials expected to flood back into the country in a fit of patriotic fervor, but the target was always going to be unreachable because around half of the overseas holdings are in buildings and apartments.

If the government has been disappointed at the final outcome, the three-phase exercise has been an intriguing exercise in the light it has shone on how much money

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