Five con artists arrested for email fraud
Paper Edition | Page: 9
The Jakarta Police said on Thursday that they had arrested five suspects, including two foreign nationals, for allegedly conning a local businesswoman out of Rp 1.07 billion (US$112,350) in a case involving email fraud.
Police mobile detective chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Herry Heryawan told a press conference that the suspects had talked to the victim, identified as NP, into thinking that she was helping them transport money from London to Jakarta for investment purposes. The suspects reportedly promised the victim 10 percent of the sum once the money reached Jakarta safely.
“The suspects searched for potential victims by sending emails to the owners of numerous accounts at social networking website Tagged, posing as an Indonesian housewife living in London and seeking help in transporting $2 million from London to Jakarta,” Herry explained. He said that NP responded to one such email, and unwittingly agreed to help.
Communications were maintained for some time, with the suspects reportedly using a London cell phone number. Eventually, through this series of phone calls, the suspects reportedly told NP that the money was on its way to Jakarta by air.
“One of the suspects then called NP on July 30. Posing as an airport customs officer, this suspect told NP over the phone that customs was withholding the $2 million, and that she had to pay them so that the money could be released,” Herry explained.
NP then made several bank transfers to several separate accounts, with the total amount transferred reaching Rp 1.07 billion.
According to Herry, after she made the transfers, the suspects cut all communication with her.
“The suspects then divided the Rp 1.07 billion between themselves. The three Indonesians got between 5 percent and 10 percent of the sum, and the rest of the money went to the two foreign nationals,” he said. NP reported the case to the police on Aug. 4.
The three Indonesian suspects were identified as W, MM and AFL, all of whom were females. Two others were identified as Nigerian UMU and Liberian BPD. The third foreign national, apparently the brains behind the crime, is still at large.
The police investigation has found that the suspects had conducted similar schemes through another social networking website, Facebook. Police have confiscated equipment in relation to the crime, as well as several fake stamps of numerous institutions, including the Jakarta customs office, the American Embassy, the Swiss Embassy and the United Nations, have also been seized.
Selected comments will be published in the Readers’ Forum page of our print newspaper.