Police investigators are collecting information on the alleged role of Southeast Maluku youth figure John Kei, alias John Refra, in the murder of PT Sanex Steel Indonesia owner Tan Harry Tantono, aka Ayung, in a Swiss-Belhotel room in Sawah Besar, Central Jakarta, on Jan. 26.
"We’re looking into whether he played any role in the case. He was at the scene at the time of the homicide," Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said on Sunday.
John was arrested at a hotel in Pulomas, East Jakarta. John was shot in the leg after he resisted arrest. As of Sunday, John was still receiving treatment at the Kramat Jati Police Hospital.
Separately, John's attorney Taufik Chandra protested John's arrest.
"It was strange that police named him [John] a suspect only because of his presence there as seen on CCTV footage," Taufik was quoted as saying by on Sunday.
Taufik claimed to have watched the footage and said that many other people were at the hotel at the time of the incident.
Ayung and John were allegedly locked in a dispute after Ayung reneged on pay a debt that John and his men went to collect from him at the hotel.
John Kei’s name first surfaced in 2004 following the murder of Basri Sangaji, another Maluku youth figure. The murder was allegedly sparked by rivalry in the debt collection business.
John previously served time for torturing two residents of Tual, Southeast Maluku: Charles Refra and Remi Refra, who lost some of their fingers when attacked by John with an axe.
John was also implicated in deadly clashes with other group members from Flores on Jl. Ampera in front of the South Jakarta District Court in September 2010. Four people were killed and dozens more injured in the brawl. The brawl followed a deadly clash between the two groups at Blowfish Kitchen and Bar in which two people were killed.