Four held in attempted blackmail, murder
Paper Edition | Page: 9
The city police said on Thursday that they had arrested four men for allegedly murdering another man on July 7, in a rented room in Mampang Prapatan, South Jakarta, after a failed blackmail attempt.
The police believe the suspects previously used the same modus operandi in similar crimes; one of them would lure the victim into having sex and the others would then extort money from the victim. “The suspects threatened to spread the news about the indecent act if the victim did not comply,” Jakarta Police chief detective Sr. Comr. Toni Harmanto told a press conference.
He alleged that the suspects had already committed 10 such crimes before their latest victim, identified only as S, an aerobics instructor, but that in none of the previous incidents was the victim killed.
“In the case of S, the suspects have told us that he had given them his ATM card along with its PIN number when he tried to fight back. The suspects then ganged up on him, tied his arms and legs, and strangled him to death,” he said.
During the fight, one of the robbers went to a nearby ATM and withdrew Rp 12 million (US$1,325) from the victim’s bank account. Afterward, the suspects fled the scene, leaving S’s body inside the rented room. The decomposing body was found a week later, on July 14.
The four arrested suspects, identified only as AL, AS, DD and HG, have been charged with felony theft resulting in death under the Criminal Code, which carries a sentence of up to 15 years imprisonment. Another suspect in the case, SDN, is still at large.
The police also confiscated two ATM cards, two cell phones, a rope and belt believed to have been used to tie up S, along with several pieces of clothing as evidence.
Members of S’s family, who also attended the press conference, thanked the police for their efforts.
They said that S was a reserved man of very few words, even to his own relatives. “We didn’t ask him where he was going when he left the house on the night of the incident, because he always went out on Saturday nights only to return the next morning,” elder sister Nurlaila said. “We are devastated by this, because S was a very responsible man who always put his family above all else.”
Selected comments will be published in the Readers’ Forum page of our print newspaper.