Police warn of rise in hypnosis thefts during fasting month
The Jakarta Post
Jakarta / Tue, July 7, 2015 / 05:05 pm
The Jakarta Police have warned of a wave of crimes involving hypnosis in the run-up to the Idul Fitri holiday.
'As Idul Fitri approaches, there is a tendency for such crimes to increase,' the force's general crimes directorate chief Sr. Comr. Khrisna Murti said recently.
The police recently arrested one of five fraud suspects, identified as AL, for allegedly stealing cash and materials worth Rp 2 billion (US$150,375) from a victim at Pluit Market in Penjaringan, North Jakarta. The five allegedly hypnotized the victim after successfully convincing him the process could cure his illness. The remaining four suspects are still at large.
Annisa (not her real name) said she had been a victim of a hypnosis crime several years ago. A week before Idul Fitri, she took a Kopaja public bus number 19 heading to Tanah Abang in Central Jakarta when a man in his 50s got on and sat across from her.
She and the man fell into conversation, with a younger man behind her joining in. When she alighted, the two followed. Continuing to talk in the street, the older man asked why she seemed preoccupied.
'I told him that I was searching for a husband. He began advising me, and told me that he believed I would find one, but that I needed to trust him,' she said.
The last thing she remembered before she left the two was swapping her handbag for a bag of leaves to be thrown into a river to rid herself of bad luck.
'I walked alone to the river and I threw the leaves in. That was when I realized that I had been hypnotized. I didn't have my bag, my purse or my two mobile phones with me anymore. I also gave them my ATM PIN,' she said, adding that she was still embarrassed by the incident.
Certified hypnosis therapist Dwi Sutarjantono explains that the unconscious mind is obedient and easily led.
'In a hypnosis theft, the perpetrators engage the victims in long conversations that fluster or confuse them, leading them away from consciousness,' the founder of self-help training center HypnoCreative Indonesia said.
To prevent oneself falling victim to such ploys, Dwi said, one must avoid leaving one's mind blank. If on a long journey home for the upcoming holiday, he said, travelers should try to keep themselves occupied mentally.
Meanwhile, the government is bracing for the Idul Fitri holiday and exodus, holding a Cabinet meeting on Monday to discuss preparations for the annual festivity.
Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan said the government would focus on 13 provinces, 44 bus terminals, 52 seaports, 35 airports and railways in Java and Sumatra.
The government, Jonan said, would prepare more buses, ships and flights than last year, as it expected the number of travelers using public transportation to increase 2 percent this year to around 20 million passengers.
He added that the ministry would prepare 44,871 buses, 5 percent more than last year's figure. The ministry has ensured 1,265 ships for people traveling at sea, 450 flights and 370 railway trips this year.
National Police chief Gen. Badrodin Haiti reminded people to pay attention to motorcyclists given the high numbers of accidents involving motorcycles in previous years. At least 200,000 police personnel will be deployed to safeguard the exodus.
Badrodin reminded travelers to stay alert on the newly opened 116-kilometer Cikopo-Palimanan (Cipali) toll road, which is billed as the longest in Indonesia
'This year, we predict the new Cipali toll road to ease the load of the old Cikampek-Cirebon route [in West Java], but that doesn't mean there will be no traffic jams. Therefore, we are still preparing a plan to manage traffic and security,' he said.
Tempo.co reported a collision between a cement truck and a Daihatsu Grand Max on the Cipali toll road on Monday afternoon that claimed six lives.
Previously on June 23, West Java Police chief Insp Gen. Moechgiyarto said there had been 30 traffic accidents on the toll road since it opened on June 13. There were three further casualties on June 16 and 18. (rbk)