JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Twenty people, whose nationality was not known, were detained by the Indonesian police for involving in suspected international online fraud crimes at a luxury house in East Jakarta on Tuesday, April 4.
The police members forced their way into the two-story house on Selat Batam Street in Duren Sawit using a welding machine.
A resident in the neighborhood known as Eni, 33, said that she was shocked and confused by the discovery of dozens of individuals in the house. She had no idea that such many people were staying in the same luxurious home.
"A crowd immediately came to the house. We were confused because no one knew that the house was occupied by that many people," Eni said at the scene.
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She went on to say that the people had rented the luxurious house for the past two to three months. "They only rented for about two to three months and only two locals [Indonesian citizens] were seen. The two appeared to originate from the neighborhood," Eni said.
However, the two locals rarely interacted with other people in the area. During the nighttime, the house appeared dark, with only one light on the terrace turning on. The dim light made the building look empty.
The raid of the luxury home was related to the arrest of 55 other foreigners by the Directorate of General Crimes (Dittipidum) of the National Police’s Criminal Investigation Agency (Bareskrim).
The 55 foreign nationals, who were arrested at three different locations, were involved in international telecommunication network fraud crimes.
"We confirm that on Tuesday, April 4 about 10:00 a.m. local time, we investigate and arrest [them] at three different locations," said Brigadier General Djuhandhani Rahardjo Puro, Director of General Crimes of Bareskrim on Wednesday, April 5.
Although they allegedly conducted their online fraud from Indonesia, the victims were mostly abroad.
The perpetrators used Mandarin in carrying out their fraudulent activities. The modus operandi of the perpetrators was to call the victims and pretend to be local police. They would then demand money from the victims.
"What the perpetrators did was similar to phone fraud, pretending to be police officers. Sometimes they would demand a ransom, and they would do such things," Djuhandani said.
Another modus operandi was selling electronic goods to the victims. However, after payments were made, the goods never be delivered.
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Djuhandhani said that during their operation, the perpetrators were believed to have made billions of rupiah each month.
However, the police were unable to conduct further investigations as most of the victims were living outside the country.
"The crime scene is in the Indonesian territory, but the victims are in Singapore, Thailand, and China, and so far, we have not received any reports or been able to directly obtain information from the victims based on their statements," said Djuhandhani.
Currently, the police are unable to confirm the nationality of the perpetrators because they cannot provide their passports.
Djuhandhani said that they had coordinated with the Immigration Department and International Relations Division (Hubinter) of the Indonesian National Police to determine the nationality of the perpetrators.
The police investigators seized several pieces of evidence, including 51 iPads, 68 cell phones, seven laptops, and one box of headsets.
The investigators charged the perpetrators under Law No. 11/2008 as amended by Law No. 19/2016 on Electronic Information and Transactions and Law No. 6/2011 on Immigration.
This article has been translated from Indonesian, partly with the help of an artificial intelligence tool.
(Writer: Nabilla Ramadhian | Editors: Ihsanuddin, Nursita Sari, Ivany Atina Arbi)
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