Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati held an unplanned press conference on Thursday night in the House of Representatives building in Senayan, Central Jakarta, in response to news reports that Singaporean banks reported Indonesians participating in the tax amnesty programme to Singaporean police.
"I directly checked with Singaporean authorities, specifically Deputy Prime Minister Tarman, to get official explanation from the Singaporean government," she said as quoted by kompas.com.
Sri Mulyani said the Singaporean government told her they had encouraged all banks in Singapore to support their clients wanting to join the Indonesian tax amnesty programme.
Singapore also has rules stipulated by its Financial Action Task Force that banks must follow. The rules say banks have to report any suspicious transactions to prevent illegal activities or money laundering.
However, Sri Mulyani said Singaporean authorities said Indonesians joining the amnesty could not be considered an action that could trigger a criminal investigation.
"Therefore, Indonesian taxpayers should not worry about being reported for participating in the tax amnesty," she said.
She said Indonesian and Singaporean governments continued their co-operation to close all loopholes that could be made into excuses for Indonesian taxpayers not to join the amnesty.
Previously, news reports quoting various sources said Singaporean private banks brought the list of clients joining the Indonesian tax amnesty programme to Singaporean police.
"The moment the client tells you [their] participating in the amnesty, you have a suspicion that the assets with you are not compliant, and so you have to report it to the authorities," said a senior executive at a Singapore-based wealth manager as quoted by The Strait Times.