Pilot wannabe lives the dream as con man
Pilot uniform: (kompas.com)
Ever since he was a small boy, Yudha Tandijaya, 38, has always wanted to become a pilot. “I tried to enroll at the Indonesian Aviation Institute [STPI] in Curug [in Banten] in 1990 but I failed the test. Ever since then, I have often worn a pilot uniform,” he told reporters.
Some 22 years after his failure to pass the test, he still wears the uniform, but not to live up to his dream.
On Monday, Yudha, now a waste management businessman, was arrested at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport by the airport’s police after he was seen masquerading as a pilot to con a cell phone seller.
He was reportedly arrested in the parking lot of the airport’s Terminal 1B, after escorting some relatives inside the airport and running his scam for the last time. The police later revealed that their investigation found that it was the eighth time Yudha defrauded a cell phone vendor. His first was in 2009.
Airport Police detective chief Comr. Siswo Yuwono said that Yudha often went to ITC Roxy Mas in Central Jakarta to order a cell phone. He reportedly would wear his pilot uniform on these occasions to convince his target victim.
“After ordering a cell phone, let’s say a BlackBerry, he requested that the phone be delivered to the airport the next day,” Siswo said.
The next day, after receiving the phone from the delivery man, Yudha would excuse himself to withdraw money from an ATM machine. That was when he would run away.
Yudha has been charged with fraud under the Criminal Code and may face up to four years’ imprisonment for his crimes.
Police have confiscated his pilot garb, along with a Suzuki Grand Vitara SUV and several aviation magazines, as evidence.
Yudha’s tale is just the latest among a long list of similar crimes in Jakarta over the years, where masquerading as persons of authority has been a favorite trick among the city’s collection of crooks.
Just last week, the city’s branch of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) reported a man identified as MS for allegedly misusing the name of its treasurer Nasrullah for a bogus campaign project. MS is still on the run.
Earlier this month, the police arrested four suspects for allegedly conning a businessman out of Rp 1.4 billion (US$149,800) under the pretense that they would help release his drug-suspect relative from police detention.
Some of the suspects reportedly claimed to be agents of the National Narcotics Agency (BNN), while another
one claimed that he had excellent rapport with the Jakarta Police chief.
Another man, Asril Indrawan, 56, was arrested in his house in Pesanggrahan, South Jakarta, in February, for posing as BNN’s spokesman and conning the family of a pilot who was suspected for drug-related offenses out of Rp 600 million under the pretense that he could commute the suspect’s sentence.