26 June 2008

Govt gives awards to counter prize scams

Govt gives awards to counter prize scams

Erwida Maulia , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Thu, 06/26/2008 10:33 AM | Business

To combat prize draw scams, the Social Services Ministry held Tuesday its fourth annual Padma Award ceremony honoring companies with the best free prize draw programs.

Among the 17 award recipients were PT Bank Mandiri, PT Bank Panin, Bali-based PT Courts Indonesia, South Sulawesi-based Alaska Houshold Appliances and Electronics, PT Arnott's Indonesia and PT Tang Mas.

"We've been giving this award almost every year since 2004. It is dedicated to businesses organizing prize draws for products they've made," Social Services Minister Bachtiar Chamsyah said during a press conference before the ceremony.

The Social Services Ministry has the sole authority to issue prize draw licenses to companies, Bachitar said.

The ministry is also tasked with monitoring prize draws and banning or reporting companies that conduct draws intended to trick or that involve gambling, the minister said.

He said he recently banned an SMS-based prize draw because it was "similar to gambling".

He said he would report such fraudulent companies to the police in addition to banning them.

"They must be detained," the minister said.

In his speech during the ceremony, deputy director general for social support and insurance Abdul Malik said the awards were a "thankful expression" from the government to members of the community that "have evidently participated in social welfare efforts through free prize draws, and money and goods collecting."

Abdul said the government expected the event to encourage the business community to organize similar activities.

"We also hope this award can remind people to obey existing regulations when organizing prize draws or collecting money and goods.

"And we hope the community will become more aware of possible fraud in such prize draws," he added.

Also during the event, the Social Services Ministry displayed a video showing the correct procedure for registering for and organizing a prize draw.

The ceremony also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Social Services Ministry and state mail service firm PT Pos.

The MoU is expected to encourage the companies to support each other's services.


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