Cases involving the land mafia often happen in Indonesia. The victims of the land mafia are not limited to ordinary people, but also officials, former officials and, even, state institutions. Some of the land mafia cases that have come under the public’s attention are the case that happened to the parents of artist Nirina Zubir and the one that happened to the parents of former Deputy Foreign Minister Dino Patti Djalal.

Indonesian Dictionary refers to mafia as secret associations engaged in crime while land is the surface of the earth that is given boundaries, the limited surface of the earth that is occupied by a nation that is ruled by a country or becomes a state territory. One of the factors causing the land mafia is the increasing population, while on the other hand the availability of land is increasingly limited. This condition then pushes land values ​​higher and higher and is relatively expensive given its scarce nature.

Deputy Chairman of Commission II DPR RI Junimart Girsang called land mafic practices  extraordinary crimes. In practice, land mafia use various modus operandi.

Land Mafia Modus Operandi

The land mafia is a land crime involving a group of people working together to own or control other people’s land illegally or in violation of the law. Usually the perpetrators use particular ways that are planned and systematic. Illegal land occupation often triggers conflicts or disputes that often result in the loss of human lives.

There are various ways of land mafia to illegally occupy land, such as using falsified land title deeds, falsifying or losing land certificates, giving false statements, forging documents, fictitious buying and selling, fraud or embezzlement, leasing, challenging land ownership,  controlling land by illegal means, corruption, collusion, nepotism, to fabricating cases in court.

The most common way used by the land mafia is document falsification. Former Minister of Agrarian and Spatial Planning/National Land Agency (ATR/BPN) Sofyan A. Djalil revealed that out of 305 cases that were targeted for operations, the most modus operandi consisted of falsification of documents as much as 66.7%, crimes of embezzlement or fraud as much as 15.9% , illegal occupation without rights as much as 11%, and sale and purchase of disputed land 3.2%.

Self Protection from the Practices of Land Mafia

Legally, there are different rights of land ownership. Ownership of the land is given to individuals, indigenous peoples or communal rights, government agencies, companies with legal entities, religious and social institutions and others as stipulated in Law No. 5/1960 on the Basic Agraria Principles.

Based on Article 16 Law No. 5 /1960, land rights in Indonesia are divided into;
1. property right,
2. usufructuary rights,
3. building use rights,
4. usufructuary rights,
5. lease rights,
6. plow open the land,
7. the right to collect forest products,
8. other rights that are not included in the rights mentioned above which will be determined by law as well as temporary rights as mentioned in article 53.

Holders of land rights, whether individuals, communities or institutions, can protect themselves from land mafia practices by ensuring that the land is registered with the BPN and certified. If you already have a certificate, then the holder of land rights must not show or surrender or entrust it to someone else. Holders of land rights are advised to complete the Deed of Sale and Purchase (AJB) or Certificate of Ownership (SHM) themselves and as far as possible avoid using a power of attorney. has.

Holders of land rights do not need to worry about transferring land rights because the database system belonging to the Ministry of ATR/BPN is  made online, to enable them check the progress of the performance of land deed registrar (PPAT) which can be monitored directly.

Legal Action to Report the Land Mafia

A land rights holder or his/her families can take legal action if he or she falls victim of the land mafia. Before reporting to a police office, the victim need to collect all land files and compile a chronology of cases they have experienced. After the files and chronology are complete, the victim must report the case to the nearest police station.

In the Criminal Code, several criminal offenses apply for crimes involving unlawful land occupation, namely:

  1. Article 167 stipulating about “entering the house, yard unlawfully.”
  2. Article 263 stipulating about  “forging a document that can establish a right.”
  3. Article 266 stipulating about “entering false statements in an authentic deed.”
  4. Article 385 stipulating about  “unlawfully selling, exchanging or encumbering a land right”
  5. Article 372 stipulating about ” embezzling the rights of an object belonging to another person.’
  6. Article 378 stipulating about ”committing deception or a series of lies.’
  7. Article 55 and Article 56 stipulating about ”providing assistance against a crime.”

In addition to making a report to a police office, victims should report their respective cases allegedly committed by land mafia to the ATR/BPN Ministry in Jakarta,  or through the website, or  through Whatsapp hotline number 081110680000.

In fact, the government already has a number of strategies to eradicate land mafia practices. One strategy is to carry out electronic services for mortgage rights (HT-el) that includes registration of mortgage rights, liability omission of mortgage (roya), cessie and subrogation. In addition, other strategies are electronic land information services for land value zones (ZNT) as well as land registration certificates (SPKT) and checking certificates, as well as modernizing service requests for decrees granting land rights.

The government has formed a task force to eradicate land mafia practices, involving the central government,  the regional administrations and the relevant Ministry of ATR/BPN.

The duties of the land mafia task force implementation team are:

  1. researching and collecting information on land cases where there are indications of land mafia involvement and/or broad dimensions and the classification of serious cases.
  2. coordinating with other agencies related to handling and handling land cases involving the land mafia.
  3. delegating the results of the handling of land cases where there are indications of the involvement of the Land Mafia to the police for further handling.
  4. reporting the results of the implementation of the task force periodically every 3 months.
  5. making reports on the results of handling and recommendations to the Minister of ATR/BPN  and the Head of the Provincial BPN Office.


Author / Contributor:

 intan Cahaya Puspita Sari S.H., M.Kn.



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