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Ichsan Zikry LLM’20 secures important Indonesia Constitutional Court victory to revise money laundering law

October 08, 2021

Testimony provided by University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School Lecturer in Law Matthew Fishbein, whose “White Collar Crimes” course Zikry had taken, proved critical in the Court’s reasoning.

Ichsan Zikry LLM’20 recently secured a key legal victory for the Indonesian Financial Transaction Analysis Agency, Ministry of Forestry and Environment and Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Affairs in their ongoing efforts to combat money laundering. Zikry was appointed to represent the Ministries in arguing their case before the Indonesia Constitutional Court in which the agencies aimed to strike down the law that limits which governmental units may conduct money-laundering investigations.

Ichsan Zikry LLM'20 Ichsan Zikry LLM'20“To give you a little background of the case,” explained Zikry, “the law said there are only six agencies that are allowed to investigate money-laundering crimes. However, those six agencies cannot handle all the money-laundering allegations (only 15 percent of the allegations ended with successful prosecution). Meanwhile, there are many big crimes happening in specific sectors such as fisheries and forestry that involve money laundering, but they cannot be investigated because those who can investigate the predicate crimes (the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Affairs and the Ministry of Forestry and Environment) do not have the jurisdiction. This situation has been happening for almost a decade and it’s been impeding our ability to effectively combat money laundering.”

Matthew Fishbein, Lecturer in Law Matthew Fishbein, Lecturer in LawZikry said that as part of his advocacy strategy, he contacted University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School Lecturer in Law Matthew Fishbein, instructor of the “White Collar Crimes” course that Zikry took at the Law School, and asked him about money laundering law enforcement in United States.

“He provided me with a lot of important insight and assistance, attended a series of virtual meetings, and was willing to give his testimony (virtually and written) before the Indonesia Constitutional Court (pro bono) to explain that in the United States, there are many agencies with the jurisdiction to perform investigations, and it is really effective as an effort to combat money laundering. We needed his testimony to provide the justices with a comparative perspective of money-laundering law enforcement in another country.”

The Court granted the Ministry’s petition, paying special attention to Fishbein’s preliminary written testimony, which had been submitted as part of the evidence.

“I personally would like to thank Penn Law for the studying opportunity given to me which has given me the opportunity to broaden my networks,” said Zikry. “It is amazing to see that the networks established between my professors and me could make this huge impact for the betterment of the Indonesian legal system.”

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