In Indonesia’s ‘Gotham City’, police hunt 13 former cops on wanted list involved in


MEDAN: Police in Indonesia’s North Sumatra province are on the hunt for 13 former cops who were allegedly involved in a suspected motorcycle theft syndicate even as social media was set ablaze by the authorities’ revelation of the crimes with the issuance of a “wanted list” involving them. 

Last week, the Medan Metropolitan Police Department shared a wanted list featuring 15 people who themselves were members of the department that was subsequently posted on social media. All have since been dismissed from their posts. 

Of the 15, two have already been dealt with by the law.   

They were shown on the wanted list wearing their police uniforms in the photos, and the images are now displayed on the announcement board at the Medan Metropolitan Police Department headquarters. 

According to a report from Indonesian news outlet Kompas, the 15 former officers were allegedly involved in a motorcycle theft syndicate that had operated under the guise of a cash on delivery (COD) transaction system since October 2022.

COD is a type of transaction where the recipient pays for a good at the time of delivery rather than using credit. 

Medan, the city in which the syndicate allegedly operated in, ranks as the second most crime-ridden city in Indonesia after Jakarta, according to 2020 data from the Central Bureau of Statistics. 

The city – which is the country’s fifth most populous – has even earned the moniker “Gotham City” akin to the shadowy fictional city in DC Comics where Bruce Wayne/Batman resides.

Medan’s current mayor is Mr Bobby Nasution, who is President Joko Widodo’s son-in-law.  

HOW THE SYNDICATE WORKED 

Two of the former officers on the list who had already been charged – and identified as Chief Brigadier Ari Galih Gumilang and First Brigadier Haris Kurnia Putra – had allegedly worked with two civilians and another cop to rob a man by posing as prospective buyers interested in purchasing a motorcycle that had been advertised for sale on Facebook.  

After an initial contact through WhatsApp, the prospective seller – identified as Mr Benny Setiawan Sembiring – agreed to meet up. Mr Sembiring brought along his wife and daughter.

The two civilians colluding with the officers then came on a motorcycle to the meeting point posing as prospective buyers. 

“At first, those two people came to inspect (my) motorcycle and learn how to use the remote control. I began to suspect something was off,” Mr Sembiring reportedly told local media. 

Sometime later, Ari, Haris and the third cop – who was not included on the authorities’ wanted list – arrived and introduced themselves as officers from the North Sumatra Police Department. 

They confiscated Mr Sembiring’s motorcycle registration certificate and keys, claiming the vehicle was linked to a criminal case and insisting on taking it to Sunggal Police Station, one of Medan’s district police stations.

Mr Sembiring refused to surrender to their demands and began recording the incident. 

They then tried to take the motorcycle and the registration certificate forcefully but were thwarted when Mr Sembiring disabled the vehicle’s ignition. The group continued to threaten Mr Sembiring and tried to force him into their car. 

Mr Sembiring then threatened to call his associate at the North Sumatra Police Department: Chief Commissioner Tatan Dirsan Atmaja, who is the Director of Criminal Investigation.

Upon hearing Mr Tatan’s name, the five hastily retreated to their vehicle to flee.   

Mr Sembiring’s wife was injured while attempting to prevent their escape and was dragged by the fleeing car.

After the incident, Mr Sembiring reported the robbery attempt to the police. 

The three officers were subsequently apprehended. Investigations revealed that the trio had committed over 10 similar motorcycle thefts using the COD method.

They had colluded with police officers from Sunggal Police Station and Helvetia Police Station in Medan. In addition, they were also found to be involved in drug offenses.

The internal affairs division of North Sumatra Police dismissed them from service on Nov 11, 2022.

Ari and the third cop were sentenced to 1.5 years jail each while Haris was imprisoned for a year. The two other men involved in Mr Sembiring’s attempted robbery remain at large.   

FORMER COPS REMAIN AT LARGE 

The remaining 13 officers on the wanted list have also been dishonorably dismissed, local media reported. 

Adjunct chief commissioner Sonny W Siregar, head of public information at the North Sumatra Police Department, said that some of the 15 former officers have been captured, but did not provide specifics on who had been arrested. 

The full list of wanted former officers include first Sub-Inspector Sutarso, Chief Brigadier Ari Galih Gumilang, Sutrisno, and Riswandi.

The other wanted former officers – all with the rank of brigadier – are: Eliot TM Silitonga, Mulyadi, Refandi, Rudianto Ginting, Afriyanto Maha, Safril, M Ade Nugraha, and Jefri Suzaldi.

The last three names on the list are First Brigadier Haris Kurnia Putra, Second Brigadier Erdi Kurniawan, and Second Brigadier Hasanudin Sitohang.



This article was originally published by a www.channelnewsasia.com . Read the Original article here. .