Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Prosecuting Corporate Crime in Indonesia: Recruitment Agencies that Traffic Migrant Workers

  • Wayne PALMER (a1)

Abstract

This article examines the legal and political context for prosecuting corporate crime in Indonesia. It presents a case study of the landmark case in which a migrant labour recruitment agency was successfully prosecuted for human trafficking. This article explains the rationale and motivation of the prosecution in four sections. First, it considers the development and purpose of corporate liability as a legal concept to foreground the second section, which outlines the legal and policy framework for pursuing corporations that commit crime in Indonesia. This section also offers a detailed discussion about how individuals have been proceeded against in human trafficking cases that involve corporations. Third, this article presents a case study of the first and only instance where a corporation was successfully prosecuted for human trafficking to highlight the sequence of events that made the effort possible. Fourth, the discussion that follows identifies the prosecution's motivations for bringing the case, and makes empirical conclusions about the purpose of prosecuting corporations for human trafficking through the Indonesian legal system. In conclusion, this article argues that the institutional drive to punish corporate involvement in economic crime has created the necessary systems to seek the punishment of a wider range of other corporate crimes, including human trafficking.

Copyright

Footnotes

Hide All
*

Research Fellow, Department of Business Law and Taxation, Monash Business School, Monash University, Australia. An earlier version of this article was presented at the XIX International Sociological Association (ISA) World Congress of Sociology, Toronto, 15–21 Jul 2018. I also wish to thank Professor Simon Butt, Professor Tim Lindsey, Dr Charanpal Singh Bal, Dr Elisabeth Kramer, and two anonymous reviewers for comments on earlier drafts.

Footnotes

References

Hide All

1. US Department of State, ‘Trafficking in Persons Report’ (2009) 159.

2. Riansyah (Bekasi District Court Decision No 725/Pid.Sus/2014/PN.BKS); Jamilah (Bekasi District Court Decision No 726/Pid.Sus/2014/PN.BKS).

3. PT Mahkota Ulfa Sejahtera (Bekasi District Court Decision No 459/Pid.Sus/2015/PN.BKS).

4. US Department of State (n 1).

5. This article refers to laws that were in force at the time: Law No 39 of 2004 on Placement and Protection of Indonesian Workers Overseas, art 102(h); Criminal Code 1915, art 263.

6. See generally Butt, Simon, Corruption and Law in Indonesia (Routledge 2012).

7. Aryani, Esti & Widiastuti, Tri, ‘Pertanggungjawaban Korporasi Dalam Tindak Pidana Kehutanan [Corporate Responsibility in Forest Crime]’ (2016) 7 Jurnal Ilmu Hukum 76; M Arief Amrullah, ‘Korporasi Dan Eksploitasi Sumberdaya Alam [Corporations and Exploitation of Natural Resources]’, Simposium Nasional tentang Corporate Crime Bidang Lingkungan Hidup dan Pelatihan Hukum Pidana dan Kriminologi III [3rd National Symposium on Environmental Corporate Crime and Training in Criminal Law and Criminology], Banjarmasin, 16–19 May 2016; Erdiansyah, , ‘Implementasi Pertanggungjawaban Pidana Korporasi Pembakaran Hutan Dan Lahan Di Provinsi Riau [Implementing Corporate Criminal Responsibility for Forest and Land Burning in Riau Province]’ (2015) 4 Jurnal Ilmu Hukum 138.

8. Pettanasse, Ismail, ‘Kebijakan Hukum Pidana Di Indonesia Dalam Mengatasi Tindak Pidana Perjudian [Criminal Law Policy in Indoneisa to Overcome the Crime of Gambling]’ (2016) 22 Disiplin 1.

9. Puspasari, Ayu, ‘Sanksi Pidana Bagi Badan Hukum Yang Melakukan Tindak Pidana Di Bidang Ketenagakerjaan [Criminal Sanctions for Legal Entitites that Commit Labour Crime]’ (2016) 12 Jurnal Solusi 340.

10. Ida Zuraida, ‘Pertanggungjawaban Pidana Atas Tindak Pidana Di Bidang Perpajakan Yang Dilakukan Oleh Korporasi [Criminal Responsibility for Taxation Crime Commited by Corporations]’, Pertemuan Ilmiah Tahunan (PIT) Nasional ke-2: Ikatan Widyaiswara Indonesia (IWI) Provinsi Banten [2nd National Annual Meeting of Scholars: Banten Province's Ikatan Widyaiswara Indonesia (IWI)], Pandeglang, 3–4 Dec 2015.

11. Ministry of Law and Human Rights, ‘Draft Naskah Akademik: Rancangan Undang-Undang Tentang Kitab Undang-Undang Hukum Pidana (KUHP) [Draft Academic Manuscript: Bill on Criminal Code]’ (2015) 2.

12. Khanna, Vikramaditya, ‘Corporate Criminal Liability: What Purpose Does It Serve?’ (1996) 109 Harvard Law Review 1477, 1478.

13. Suhariyanto, Budi, ‘Pertanggungjawaban Pidana Korporasi Berdasarkan Corporate Culture Model Dan Implikasinya Bagi Kesejahteran Masyarakat [Corporate Responsibility for Crime Based on the Corporate Culture Model and Its Implications for the Prosperity of Society]’ (2017) 6 Jurnal Rechtsvinding: Media Pembinaan Hukum Nasional 441, 425436.

14. For the resulting report, see IOM (International Organization for Migration) & AGO (Attorney General's Office), Indonesia's Criminal Justice Response to Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime (IOM 2017).

15. Gilchrist, Gregory, ‘Individual Accountability for Corporate Crime’ (2018) 34 Georgia State University Law Review 335, 387.

16. Hayes, Jan et al. , ‘The Rise of Defensive Engineering: How Personal Liability Considerations Impact Decision-Making’ (2018) 21 Journal of Risk Research 1131, 1131.

17. van de Poel, Ibo, ‘The Relation Between Forward-Looking and Backward-Looking Responsibility’, in Vincent, Nicole et al. (eds), Moral Responsibility (Springer 2011) 37.

18. Buell, Samuel, ‘The Responsibility Gap in Corporate Crime’ (2018) 12 Criminal Law and Philosophy 471, 473.

19. Shiner, Roger & Ho, Henry, ‘Deferred Prosecution Agreements and the Presumption of Innocence’ (2018) 12 Criminal Law and Philosophy 707, 707.

20. Alexander, Cindy & Arlen, Jennifer, ‘Does Conviction Matter? The Reputational and Collateral Effects of Corporate Crime’, in Arlen, Jennifer (ed), Research Handbook on Corporate Crime and Financial Misdealing (Edward Elgar Publishing 2018).

21. Campbell, Liz, ‘Trying Corporations: Why Not Prosecute’ (2019) 31 Current Issues in Criminal Justice 269, 287.

22. Thomas, William, ‘The Ability and Responsibility of Corporate Law to Improve Criminal Fines’ (2017) 78 Ohio State Law Journal 601, 609617.

23. Coffee, John C Jr, ‘Does Unlawful Mean Criminal: Reflections on the Disappearing Tort/Crime Distinction in American Law’ (1991) 71 Boston University Law Review 193, 246.

24. Pierce, Jason R, ‘Reexamining the Cost of Corporate Criminal Prosecutions’ (2018) 44 Journal of Management 892, 892.

25. Jimenez, Gustavo, ‘Corporate Criminal Liability: Toward a Compliance-Oriented Approach’ (2019) 26 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 353, 355356.

26. Gilchrist (n 15) 335–336.

27. ibid 388.

28. In the immediate years following the transfer of sovereignty from the Netherlands to the Republic of Indonesia in 1949, the government reacted to the fact that commercial entities in Indonesia hoarded the raw materials necessary to meet the country's domestic needs. See Emergency Law No 17/1951 on Goods Storage, Elucidation section.

29. ibid art 5(2).

30. ibid art 12.

31. Agus Sahbani, ‘Ketua MA: Perma Kejahatan Korporasi Tinggal Finalisasi [Supreme Court Chief Justice: Supreme Court Rules on Corporate Crimes to be Finalized]’ (Hukumonline.com, 16 Sep 2016) <https://www.hukumonline.com/berita/baca/lt57dbd5d2baa51/ketua-ma--perma-kejahatan-korporasi-tinggal-finalisasi/> accessed 16 Mar 2020.

32. Butt, Simon & Lindsey, Timothy, Indonesian Law (Oxford University Press 2018) 338.

33. Law No 8 of 1981 on Criminal Procedure Code, art 143(2a).

34. ibid art 143(3).

35. Interview with prosecutors, Attorney General's Anti-terrorism and Transnational Crime Taskforce (Jakarta, 13 Apr 2015; Kupang, 26 Aug 2015) (on file with author).

36. Santo, Paulus, ‘Tinjauan Tentang Subyek Hukum Korporasi Dan Formulasi Pertanggungjawaban Dalam Tindak Pidana [Review on Corporate Legal Subjects and the Formulation of Liability in Criminal Offences]’ (2012) 3 Humaniora 422, 422.

37. Law No 3 of 1982 on Mandatory Registration for Companies, art 35.

38. Law No 31 of 1999 on Eradication of the Crime of Corruption, art 20; Law No 21 of 2007 on the Eradication of the Crime of Trafficking in Persons, art 13; Law No 8 of 2010 on Prevention and Eradication of the Crime of Money Laundering, art 6.

39. Butt & Lindsey (n 32) 338.

40. Indar Atmanto (Jakarta High Court Decision No 33/Pid/TPK/2013/PT.DKI).

41. ibid.

42. Stephanus Widagdo bin Suraji Sastrodiwiryo (Banjarmasin District Court Decision No 908/Pid.B/2008/PN.BJM); Stephanus Widagdo bin Suraji Sastrodiwiryo (Banjarmasin High Court Decision No 2/Pid.Sus/2009/PT.BJM); Stephanus Widagdo bin Suraji Sastrodiwiryo (Supreme Court Decision No 936 K/Pid.Sus/2009).

43. PT Giri Jaladhi Wana (Banjarmasin District Court Decision No 812/Pid.Sus/2010/PN.BJM).

44. ibid.

45. PT Giri Jaladhi Wana (Banjarmasin High Court Decision No. 4/Pid.Sus/2011/PT.BJM).

46. ‘Ini Korporasi Pertama Yang Dijerat UU Tipikor [This is the First Corporation to be Punished Under the Anti-Corruption Law]’ (Hukumonline.com, 22 Jan 2013) <https://www.hukumonline.com/berita/baca/lt50feae76da8bf/inikorporasi-pertama-yang-dijerat-uu-tipikor/> accessed 26 Feb 2020.

47. IOM & AGO (n 14).

48. ‘Ini Korporasi Pertama Yang Dijerat UU Tipikor’ (n 46).

49. ibid.

50. Attorney General's Memorandum Circular No B-036/A/Ft.1/06/2009 on Corporations as Suspects/Defendants in Corruption Cases, 29 Jun 2009.

51. Attorney General's Regulation No 28/A/JA/10/2014 on Handling of Criminal Cases with Corporations as Legal Subjects, 1 Oct 2014.

52. ‘Kejaksaan Perkuat Diri Jerat Korporasi Di Kasus Korupsi [Prosecution Strengthens Itself to Catch Corporations in Corruption Cases]’ (Hukumonline.com, 25 Jul 2014) <https://www.hukumonline.com/berita/baca/lt53d14d174204c/kejaksaan-perkuat-diri-jerat-korporasi-di-kasus-korupsi/> accessed 16 Mar 2020.

53. Attorney General's Regulation No 28/A/JA/10/2014 (n 51).

54. Interview with prosecutors (n 35).

55. Novrieza Rahmi, ‘“Kunci” KPK Buktikan Pertanggungjawaban Pidana Korporasi [The ‘Key’ for the Corruption Eradication Commission to Prove Corporate Responsibility for Crime]’ (Hukumonline.com, 26 Jul 2017) <https://www.hukumonline.com/berita/baca/lt5978334187e51/kunci-kpk-buktikan-pertanggungjawaban-pidana-korporasi/> accessed 16 Mar 2020; ‘Putusan Hakim Menguatkan Dugaan Kejahatan Korporasi PT DGI [Court Decision Strengthens Corporate Crime Allegations Against PT DGI]’ (rmol.co, 20 Apr 2012) <https://www.rmol.id/read/2012/04/20/61267/Putusan-Hakim-Menguatkan-Dugaan-Kejahatan-Korporasi-PT-DGI-?page=2> accessed 16 Mar 2020.

56. Supreme Court Regulation No 13/2016 on Case Handling Procedure for Corporate Crime, 21 Dec 2016.

57. ‘Ketua MA: Perma Kejahatan Korporasi Tinggal Finalisasi [Supreme Court Chief: Supreme Court Regulation on Corporate Crime Only Needs to be Finalized]’ (Hukumonline.com, 16 Sep 2016) <https://www.hukumonline.com/berita/baca/lt57dbd5d2baa51/ketua-ma--perma-kejahatan-korporasi-tinggal-finalisasi/> accessed 16 Mar 2020.

58. Law No 21 of 2007 on the Eradication of the Crime of Trafficking in Persons, art 2.

59. ibid art 50(4).

60. ibid art 14.

61. ibid art 15(1).

62. ibid art 15(2).

63. ibid.

64. Wily (West Jakarta District Court Decision No 2044/Pid.Sus/2013/PN.JKT.BAR).

65. Criminal Code 1915, arts 263–264.

66. IOM & AGO (n 14).

67. Sutadie Lie bin Lie Tjin Goong (Semarang District Court Decision No 120/Pid.Sus/2015/PN.SMG).

68. Adriana Herlina Mawo binti Anderias Lede Bulu (Semarang District Court Decision No 141/Pid.Sus/2015/PN.SMG); Yuliana Jati alias Ibu Yuli binti Yohanes Anamela (Semarang District Court Decision No 140/Pid.Sus/2015/PN.SMG).

69. Yuliana Jati alias Ibu Yuli binti Yohanes Anamela (Supreme Court Decision No 632 K/Pid.Sus/2016); Yuliana Jati alias Ibu Yuli binti Yohanes Anamela (Semarang High Court Decision No 298/Pid/2015/PT.SMG); Adriana Herlina Mawo binti Anderias Lede Bulu (Supreme Court Decision No 669 K/Pid.Sus/2016; Adriana Herlina Mawo binti Anderias Lede Bulu (Semarang High Court Decision No 290/Pid.Sus/2015/PT.SMG); Sutadie Lie bin Lie Tjin Goong (Supreme Court Decision No 635 K/Pid.Sus/2016); Sutadie Lie bin Lie Tjin Goong (Semarang High Court Decision No 273/Pid.Sus/2015/PT.SMG).

70. Interview with prosecutor, Attorney General's Anti-terrorism and Transnational Crime Taskforce (Medan, 13 Aug 2015) (on file with author).

71. ibid.

72. Sutadie Lie bin Lie Tjin Goong (Supreme Court Decision No 635 K/Pid.Sus/2016).

73. Interview with prosecutors (n 35).

74. Law No 21 of 2007 on the Eradication of the Crime of Trafficking in Persons, art 2.

75. van Klinken, Gerry & Barker, Joshua, ‘Introduction: State in society in Indonesia’, in Klinken, Gerry van & Barker, Joshua (eds), State of Authority: The State in Society in Indonesia (Southeast Asia Program Publications 2009) 2.

76. Kementerian Pemberdayaan Perempuan dan Perlindungan Anak [Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Protection of Children], ‘Sejarah [History]’, (Government of Indonesia) <https://www.kemenpppa.go.id/index.php/page/view/3> accessed 9 Mar 2020.

77. Tita Naovalitha, Kompleksitas Mekanisme Penempatan BMP ke Luar Negeri: Beberapa Permasalahan dan Alternatif Solusinya [Complexity of the Placement Mechanism for International Women Migrant Workers: A Few Problems and Alternative Solutions] (World Bank 2007) 1.

78. Ford, Michele & Piper, Nicola, ‘Southern sites of female agency: Informal regimes and female migrant labour resistance in East and Southeast Asia’, in Hobson, John & Seabrooke, Leonard (eds), Everyday Politics of the World Economy (Cambridge University Press 2007) 66.

79. Meutia Hatta Swasono (Minister for Women's Empowerment and Protection of Children), ‘Pembukaan [Opening]’, Prosiding: Seminar dan Lokakarya Perlindungan Sosial untuk Buruh Migran Perempuan [Proceedings: Seminar and Workshop on Social Welfare Protection for Women Migrant Workers], 2–3 May (Government of Indonesia and World Bank 2006) xvii; Interviews with the Ministry's Head of the Legal and Public Relations Department, and Secretary of the National Anti-Trafficking Taskforce (Jakarta, 6 Apr 2015) (on file with author).

80. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, ‘Issue Paper: The Role of Trafficking in Trafficking in Persons’ (United Nations 2011).

81. Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat, Risalah Rapat Panitia Khusus Rancangan Undang-Undang tentang Pemberantasan Tindak Pidana Perdagangan Orang: Rapat Dengar Pendapat Umum [Special Committee Meeting Minutes for the Bill on Eradication of Trafficking in Persons: Meeting to Hear General Public Opinion] (9 Feb 2006) (Government of Indonesia 2006).

82. ibid.

83. ibid.

84. Interview with Head of Immigration Office (Medan, 13 Aug 2015) (on file with author).

85. For example, the Immigration Office in Entikong refused a passport application after establishing that, only a few weeks earlier, the applicant had been issued with a passport in a different name. In response, officials in the District Civil Administration Office, which issued the applicant's new identity document, threatened to burn down the Immigration Office for interfering in what is understood to be a locally-accepted practice. The District Chief intervened by compelling the Immigration Office to repair relations in line with customary law, which in this case was by providing a gift of pigs to officials in the District Civil Administration Office. See Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat, Risalah Rapat Panitia Khusus Rancangan Undang-Undang tentang Pemberantasan Tindak Pidana Perdagangan Orang: Rapat Dengar Pendapat Umum [Special Committee Meeting Minutes for the Bill on Eradication of Trafficking in Persons: Meeting to Hear General Public Opinion] (8 Mar 2006) (Government of Indonesia 2006).

86. Palmer, Wayne, ‘Discretion and the Trafficking-like Practices of the Indonesian State’, in Ford, Michele, Lyons, Lenore & van Schendel, Willem (eds), Labour Migration and Human Trafficking in Southeast Asia: Critical Perspectives (Routledge 2012) 154.

87. Kementerian Koordinator Bidang Kesejahteraan Rakyat, Kinerja Tim Koordinasi Pemulangan Tenaga Kerja Indonesia Bermasalah dan Keluarga dari Malaysia (TK-PTKB) Tahun 2007 [2007 Productivity Report of the Coordination Team for the Repatriation of Problematic Indonesian Migrant Workers and their Families from Malaysia] (Government of Indonesia 2007) 1–2.

88. Immigration Act 1959/63 (Malaysia) (Act 155), art 3.

89. International, Amnesty, A Blow to Humanity: Torture by Judicial Caning in Malaysia (Amnesty International 2010).

90. Kementerian Koordinator Bidang Kesejahteraan Rakyat (n 87); Kementerian Koordinator Bidang Kesejahteraan Rakyat, Kinerja Tim Koordinasi Pemulangan Tenaga Kerja Indonesia Bermasalah dan Keluarga dari Malaysia (TK-PTKB) Tahun 2008 [2008 Productivity Report of the Coordination Team for the Repatriation of Problematic Indonesian Migrant Workers and their Families from Malaysia] (Government of Indonesia 2008).

91. Badan Nasional Penempatan dan Perlindungan Tenaga Kerja Indonesia, Pemberitahuan [Notification] (Govenment of Indonesia 2008).

92. Lindquist, Johan & Piper, Nicola, ‘From HIV prevention to counter-trafficking: Discursive shifts and institutional continuities in South-East Asia’, in Lee, Maggy (ed), Human Trafficking (Willian Publishing 2007) 139.

93. Danuri, Bambang Hendarso, Akselerasi Transformasi Polisi Menuju Polri yang Mandiri, Profesional dan Dipercaya Rakyat [Acceleration of Police Transformation into an Indonesian National Police that is Independent, Professional and Trusted by Society] (Komisi Kepolisian Indonesia 2008).

94. Departemen Tenaga Kerja dan Transmigrasi and Kepolisian Negara Republik Indonesia [Department of Manpower and Transmigration and Indonesian National Police], Penegakan Hukum dalam Rangka Penempatan dan Perlindungan Tenaga Kerja Indonesia di Luar Negeri [Enforcing Law Regarding the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Workers Overseas], KEP.103/Men/II/2007 and B/306/II/2007 (Government of Indonesia), art 6.

95. ibid art 7(1).

96. Unless otherwise indicated, the reference for this case study is PT Mahkota Ulfa Sejahtera (n 3).

97. Riansyah (n 2); Jamilah (n 2).

98. Lindquist, Johan, ‘Labour Recruitment, Circuits of Capital and Gendered Mobility: Reconceptualizing the Indonesian Migration Industry’ (2010) 83 Pacific Affairs 115.

99. Interview with Head of the Anti-trafficking Unit at Indonesian National Police (Jakarta, 30 Mar 2015) (on file with author).

100. IOM & AGO (n 14).

101. ibid.

102. Lindsey, Timothy & Butt, Simon, ‘Judicial Mafia: The Courts and State Illegality in Indonesia’, in Aspinall, Edward & van Klinken, Gerry (eds), The State and Illegality in Indonesia (KITLV Press 2011) 189.

103. Mustopik bin H Rido (North Jakarta District Court Decision No 154/Pid.Sus/2011/PN.JKT.UT); Lasih binti Sairi (North Jakarta District Court Decision No 155/Pid.Sus/2011/PN.JKT.UT).

104. Wayne Palmer & Antje Missbach, ‘Judicial Discretion and the Minimum Statutory Sentence for Migrant Smuggling through Indonesia’ (2018) 5 Asian Journal of Law and Society 413, 427; Adriaan Bedner, ‘Indonesian Legal Scholarship and Jurisprudence as an Obstacle for Transplanting Legal Institutions’ (2013) 5 Hague Journal on the Rule of Law 253, 257.

105. Wayne Palmer & Antje Missbach (n 104), 420.

106. Interview with prosecutors (n 35).

107. Interview with prosecutor, Attorney General's Anti-terrorism and Transnational Crime Taskforce (Selong, 13 Aug 2015) (on file with author).

108. Ministerial Regulation (Manpower) No 38/MEN/XII/2006 on Procedures for Giving, Extending, and Cancelling Permission for Migrant Worker Recruiters 2006, art 2(i).

109. Palmer, Wayne, Indonesia's Overseas Labour Migration Programme, 1969–2010 (Brill 2016), ch 2.

110. ibid ch 3.

111. PT Mahkota Ulfa Sejahtera (n 3).

112. IOM & AGO (n 14).

113. For an analysis about Indonesia's role in the international forum, see generally Kneebone, Susan, ‘The Bali Process and Global Refugee Policy in the Asia-Pacific Region’ (2014) 27 Journal of Refugee Studies 596.

* Research Fellow, Department of Business Law and Taxation, Monash Business School, Monash University, Australia. An earlier version of this article was presented at the XIX International Sociological Association (ISA) World Congress of Sociology, Toronto, 15–21 Jul 2018. I also wish to thank Professor Simon Butt, Professor Tim Lindsey, Dr Charanpal Singh Bal, Dr Elisabeth Kramer, and two anonymous reviewers for comments on earlier drafts.

Prosecuting Corporate Crime in Indonesia: Recruitment Agencies that Traffic Migrant Workers

  • Wayne PALMER (a1)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.