Investment scam boss dies behind bars
Businessman cum cleric Jaya Komara, suspect in a multibillion investment scam, died of an unknown cause in his prison cell at Tangerang Police detention center in West Java on Thursday morning.
Jaya’s body was taken to Cipto Mangunkusumo general hospital in Central Jakarta for an autopsy.
“We're still waiting for reports on the cause of his death,” Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto told reporters.
According to Tangerang police chief Sr. Comr. Bambang Priyo Andogo, the three inmates sharing a cell with Jaya told police officers that they were still having short conversations with him at around 4:40 a.m.
The three, however, did not hear anything again from Jaya and realized that his body had not moved a muscle in the next hour.
The penitentiary doctor on duty estimated that Jaya died at around 5 a.m.
“There were no signs of violence on the body. We could not find any sharp or suspicious objects around the cell,” Bambang said.
Jaya was arrested on July 27 after his scam was uncovered by police. He was accused of embezzling up to Rp 6 trillion (US$625.12 million) from members of his cooperative Koperasi Langit Biru.
Jaya started the cooperative in 2001 and attracted around 140,000 members to invest anything from Rp 500,000 to Rp 10 million of funds. He convinced members that they would get at least Rp 1.7 million monthly profit and could earn up to Rp 100 million within two years.
The scam was exposed in early July this year after several members complained of not having received monthly payments. Disgruntled members staged a demonstration in the cooperative’s office in Cikasungka village in Solear district, Tangerang.
Jaya Komara disappeared as soon as the protests began. He was arrested in West Java. (aml/fzm/lfr)