The national television channel tvOne, reports that the Minister of Law and Human Rights, Patrialis Akbar, undertook a surprise inspections at the East Jakarta Immigration office on Monday, July 19, 2010. Explaining the reason for his visit, Patrialis said, "I received a report that there were illegal fees being paid for the preparation of passports."
The Minister said his visit allowed him to personally check the veracity of corruption reports by interviewing people applying for a passport. "I found no evidence of illegal levies at this immigration office," he said. Patrialis also confirmed that there were service providers organizing passports for third parties during his visit.
He used the occasion to ask the public not to use middle men in obtaining their passports, while reminding immigration officials to serve the public well.
"When it is proven that an immigration official complicates the process to obtain a passport, I will take administrative action," he assured.
The head of the East Jakarta immigration office, Nasrul Ngabdimasa, told the press that it only takes four days to obtain a passport with a total cost of Rp. 270,000 (US$29.40) comprised of Rp. 200,000 for the passport book, Rp. 55,000 for the needed photograph and Rp. 15,000 for fingerprinting.
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