Dozens of Kei’s men named suspects in Cengkareng brawl
Paper Edition | Page: 9
City police said on Friday that they have named 99 suspects in the violent brawl between members of rival gangs led by former crime lord Hercules Rozario Marshal and murder suspect John Kei in Cengkareng, West Jakarta, on Wednesday.
Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto has confirmed that all the suspects were among the 102 members of Kei’s gang, who were believed to have incited the brawl.
“All suspects have been charged with unpleasant conduct, as stipulated in Article 335 of the Criminal Code, as well as illegally carrying bladed weapons, which is a violation of the 1951 Emergency Law on Firearms and Explosives,” he told reporters.
The 1951 Law carries a maximum of 10 years prison sentence for illegally carrying bladed weapons, while the Criminal Code stipulates a punishment of up to one year in prison for unpleasant conduct.
According to Rikwanto, all 99 suspects were detained at police headquarters as of Friday evening. “We will put some of them at the General Crimes Directorate’s detainment center and some others at the Narcotics Directorate’s detainment center,” he said.
The brawl on Wednesday reportedly took place over a 2.1-hectare plot of land in Cengkareng.
According to the police, a company had entrusted John’s gang with the security of 1.4 hectares of land, while another company entrusted a group of Hercules’ men to protect the other 0.7 hectares of land. The brawl itself reportedly began at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, when 100 of John’s men attempted to enter the 0.7 hectare plot and laid claim to it, inciting a conflict with Hercules’ men.
The gangs fought sporadically over the next few hours. Mediation attempts involving the authorities failed to soothe tensions. Eventually, some 300 officers from the Jakarta and West Jakarta Police were deployed to end the brawl.
During the police’s raid, two members of Hercules’ group were shot for attempting to resist arrest. One of them, identified as Laminggu, aka Semi Binggo, died after sustaining a fatal gunshot wound to the head. The other, identified as Lajuma Maswatu, 28, was critically injured after being shot in the chest.
In the afternoon, 110 of the brawlers were arrested — 102 from John’s side were detained at the West Jakarta Police’s headquarters and eight of Hercules’ men were taken to the city police headquarters.
Rikwanto said that the investigation into the involvement of the eight men from Hercules’ side was still ongoing and that none of them had been named suspects.
Police also seized 13 cars and 91 weapons, including samurai swords, machetes, crowbars, spears and iron bars, from the two groups after the brawl. The man who allegedly incited the attack, identified by the police as Rais Kei, is still at large and has been included in the police’s most-wanted (DPO) list.
Tito Refra, John Kei’s younger brother and a prominent member of the gang, said on Friday that Rais lived near the scene of the brawl but that he was not entrusted with the disputed land’s security.
Also on Friday, Hercules was seen joining a protest in front of the Central Jakarta District Court, demanding the court to hand John Kei the heaviest sentence possible.
John Kei is currently standing trial for his alleged involvement in the murder of steel businessman Tan Harry Tantono, aka Ayung, in January this year. Earlier this week, prosecutors at the court indicted him for premeditated murder, which carries a penalty of execution by firing squad.
Hercules said that his presence in the protest was in response to the Cengkareng brawl. “They attacked innocent people [in the brawl].”