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Policemen quizzed over blackmailing, rape case

Indonesia is changing quickly. I did not get around yet to write a full article about these changes, but as they are relevant, I include here a number of reports from other sources.

The following puts light on a very common scam that also may target foreigners in the country:

Jakarta Post, August 27, 2005

Abdul Khalik, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

City police held an open-door disciplinary hearing for the first time ever on Thursday for two officers accused of blackmailing and raping a sex worker and extorting money from an ojek (motorcycle taxi) driver in late July.

Brig. Ari Tjandra and Second Brig. Gerald Rotua Pasaribu, both members of a Central Jakarta Police vice squad, were investigated for violating police ethics and national laws before dozens of police officers, civilian employees, journalists and students.

Adj. Sr. Comr. Heru Wiyono, who presided over the hearing, said the investigation had found the two officers guilty as charged of the crimes but had delayed announcing its findings for several days.

"Although we have found them guilty, we had delayed announcing our findings as they will face another trial in a civilian court soon," he said.

In the past, hearings against police officers were done in closed-door sessions.

Jakarta Police internal affairs chief Sr. Comr. Anwaruddin, who attended the hearing, said that the two officers would be dishonorably discharged from the force as they had disgraced their profession.

Central Jakarta Police were ready to submit the case files of the two officers to prosecutors so they could be formally charged, he said.

"They will be tried at the Central Jakarta District Court for rape and extortion. So, aside from losing their jobs, they will also face imprisonment," he said. The hearing heard that Ari and Gerald had asked two students identified as Fauzi Reza, 19, and Aulia Dimas Wisudadi, 19, and an employee of a private company identified as Budi Santoso, 30, to earn money by bringing them sex workers.

Ari was in charge of locating sex workers, while the other four pretended to be police officers.

On July 29, Ari paid Rp 200,000 to a 33-year-old sex worker identified only as "LW" for a date and checked in at the Permata Hotel in West Jakarta.

After less than half an hour, Ari and LW came out of the hotel and Ari paid LW in front of an ojek driver identified as SA, who was waiting to pick her up.

Gerald, Fauzi, Dimas and Budi arrived shortly after and "busted them". Gerald searched LW and took her bag while the other three searched SA and Ari.

"That was the time Gerald put two ecstasy pills into LW's bag, so when we checked the bag we found ecstasy pills. We blackmailed her. That was the scenario," said Dimas, who, together with Fauzi and Budi, testified in the hearing.

They then bundled SA and LW inside a van and drove around the city, while Ari rode a motorcycle.

Finding only Rp 850,000 in SA and LW's bags, Gerald asked LW for more money.

"He said I had to pay Rp 2 million for my freedom. If not, they would take me to the police station and I would be put in jail for two years," LW told the hearing.

LW said that she had no more money and so she instead offered them her "services".

Gerald and the other three agreed and took her to Utan Kayu hostel in East Jakarta. The four then took turns in having sex with LW before releasing her in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta.

SA and LW later reported the case to Central Jakarta Police.