JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – A joint operation between Indonesia’s police and the Royal Malaysia Police have brought Djoko Tjandra, 70, a fugitive and graft convict in Bank Bali case, to Indonesia on Thursday, July 30.
Djoko arrived at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport at 22:48pm. He was arrested by the police in the operation led by the chief detective of police’s Criminal Investigation Department Commissioner, General Listyo Sigit Prabowo, in Malaysia on the same day.
Djoko and the authorities who escorted him boarded a private jet Embraer Legacy 600 aircraft with a registration number PK-RJP painted in white and red colors. The fugitive who fled the country in 2009 was escorted under tight guard. Two police officers held both his arms. He was wearing an orange detainee vest with a number 22 on his chest. He had a surgical mask on and his hands were handcuffed.
The man who bears the nickname “Joker” was immediately taken to the VIP room of Halim Perdanakusuma Airport shortly before being taken to the police headquarters under tight guard.
Before the arrest, Listyo said his team was informed that Djoko Tjandra was in Malaysia. Based on the tip-off, Indonesian Police Chief General Idham Azis then sent a letter to the Royal Malaysia Police requesting assistance in the arrest.
“The police chief sent the letter to the Royal Malaysia Police to carry out a joint operation in search of the fugitive based on the information given,” Listyo said.
Then, he added, a special team flew to Malaysia to pick him up on Thursday afternoon.
“Alhamdulillah [thanks be to Allah], under the cooperation between the Criminal Investigation Department of the National Police and Malaysia Royal Police Djoko Tjandra was arrested,” he added.
He said the arrest of Djoko could now clear the public doubts about the police's commitment to upholding law enforcement. “We show our commitment that Djoko Tjandra has been arrested. We will proceed with the case,” he said.
Respect for country’s law
Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna H Laoly said that the lesson learned from the arrest of Bank Bali fugitive Djoko was that people must not disrespect the laws. Yasonna also hoped that with the arrest, efforts to improve public trust in the country’s efforts to uphold the law enforcement will gain momentum.
“The arrest has at least put an end to rumors or questions about the whereabouts of Djoko Tjandra,” Yasonna said in a statement on Friday, July 31.
“This is to emphasize that the state cannot be mocked by anyone who tries to be above the law in this country,” he added.
His arrest must be followed by a transparent judicial process to uncover the case, he added. The minister expressed his appreciation to the police’s Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) for their efforts to arrest the fugitive.
“High appreciation goes to the police’s Criminal Investigation Department as the arrest is done through a ‘P-to-P’ cooperation (police to police),” said Yasonna, referring to coordination between Indonesia’s police and the Royal Malaysia Police.
The arrest was carried out by a special team under the leadership of chief detective of the police’s Criminal Investigation Department Commissioner General Listyo Sigit Prabowo, who is also President Joko Widodo’s former adjutant. The joint operation began upon receiving information that Djoko was residing in Malaysia.
“Previously, the public might think that the police were not serious in their effort to find and arrest Djoko Tjandra. Now everyone can see that the allegations are not true,” he said.
Police’s work lauded
The House’s Commission III deputy chairman Adies Kadir, who oversees legal affairs, lauded the members of the national police who had arrested the graft convict.
“The smart and careful work carried out by the national police team should be followed by other law enforcement officials,” said Adies who is also the secretary of the Golkar faction of the House of Representatives.
Adies also hopes that the Attorney General's Office and immigration department can also move quickly to handle the case.
“Do not hesitate, cover up, or even protect any individual who is involved in the case,” said Adies in a statement.
He also expressed his appreciation to National Police chief General Idham Azis and the police special team for their efforts to bring back the fugitive to Indonesia.
Previously, the South Jakarta District Court acquitted Djoko. Then in October 2008, the Attorney General’s Office submitted a judicial review to the Supreme Court, where he was found guilty.
The businessman was then sentenced to two years in prison and had to pay a fine of 15 million rupiahs ($1,037). The state recovered 546 billion rupiahs ($37.7 million) from his account in the then Bank Bali.
However, a day before the Supreme Court would hand down its verdict in June 2009, Djoko allegedly fled Indonesia via a chartered plane from Halim Perdanakusuma Airport to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea. Djoko later held citizenship in Papua New Guinea in June 2012. However, the status was illegitimate because he still has legal issues against him in Indonesia.
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