JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Indonesian National Police has uncovered five cases of fraud schemes worth 276 billion rupiahs ($19.5 million) using compromised e-mails during the 2018-2020 period by criminal groups that operate internationally.
“We have handled five cases involving transnational [crime]. Three cases are related to Covid-19 involving three countries and two others are related to money transfers as well as investment,” said Commissioner General Listyo Sigit Prabowo, National Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) chief at his office building on Thursday, December 16.
Listyo further added that on November 3, 2020, the police received information from the Dutch Interpol regarding a fraud case using compromised e-mail. The victim was a Dutch company that received such e-mails from the perpetrator.
The e-mail correspondence touched on the changes of bank account number for the payment of the Covid-19 rapid test kits ordered by the victim. The Dutch company then transferred $3.6 million to the bank account under the name of the perpetrator’s fake company.
Bareskrim investigators then arrested two suspects identified by initial H and BA. H was tasked with preparing documents and bank accounts ordered by a Nigerian national named Emeka.
Police said that Emeka’s role was to control the syndicate. Emeka is said to have recruited Indonesian nationals to carry out the work. Currently, Emeka is a prisoner who is serving the sentence for a similar fraud case at the Serang Prison in Banten Province, Jakarta’s neighboring province.
“It turns out that even from the prison the perpetrator continues to commit the crime, which is assisted by the network in Nigeria and a new group in Indonesia,” Listyo said.
Police learned that because of Emeka an Argentine national suffered a loss of $3.3 million in 2018. In 2019, another victim from Greece suffered a loss of 113 billion rupiahs ($8 million).
This year, the alleged fraud case involved the purchase of Covid-19 equipment. Besides the Dutch citizens, other victims comprised the Italian and German nationals, who lost 58 billion rupiahs ($4.1 million) and 10 billion rupiahs ($710,000), respectively.
The investigators have seized more than half of the total losses. “The total losses from a series of crimes reached about 276 billion rupiahs ($19.5 million) and we have managed to confiscate 141 billion rupiahs ($10 million),” Listyo said.
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