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Jakarta Post

Police investigating link to terrorism in Medan robbery, policeman arrested

  • Apriadi Gunawan

    The Jakarta Post

Medan   /   Wed, September 10, 2014   /  10:05 am

The North Sumatra Police are investigating whether a recent theft of Rp 5.3 billion (US$450,000) in cash from PT Swadharma Sarana Informatika (SSI) is linked to a terror group.

North Sumatra Police chief Insp. Gen. Eko Hadi Sutedjo confirmed that a police officer was among the suspects arrested in the case.

'€œPolice are examining the case closely. Besides the considerable sum of money stolen, the case also involves a police officer. We will investigate whether this case has any terrorist involvement,'€ Eko told The Jakarta Post at police headquarters in Medan on Tuesday.

He said the police had arrested 12 suspects, including the police officer. He said the police'€™s internal affairs division was still questioning the officer.

'€œIf the questioning reveals that the police officer is involved in the robbery, I will not hesitate to dismiss him,'€ said Eko, who is a former governor of the Police Academy.

The robbery took place at the parking lot of the Plaza Medan Fair shopping mall on Aug. 31. The perpetrators stole a Daihatsu Luxio van containing the money.

The police suspect has been identified as First Brig. Asullah Efendi Margolang, who is assigned to the North Sumatra Police Sabhara unit.

The 11 other suspects have been named as Heri Shaputra, 26, Arda Agung, 25, Zainuddin '€œIjai'€ Pasaribu, Subhan Yurtubi Nasution, Mudrawaty Budhaintari, 32, Dimas '€œNanang'€ Arisandi, 20, Nofirnadi, 32, Dedi, 26, Sugito Panca Wibowo, 28, Irfandi, 30, and an underage suspect identified only by the initials GW.

Medan Police chief Sr. Comr. Nico Afinta said the police were still hunting two other suspects as, according to information received from the suspects, a total of 14 people were involved in the crime. The fugitives, he said, were identified as Riki, alias Jarkep and Dani, alias Edo.

'€œWe are still investigating this case. We'€™re trying our best to resolve the case swiftly,'€ Nico said.

  • Police have arrested 12 suspects, including a police officer, in robbery of Rp 5.3 billion
  • Two people also named fugitives in the case
  • Police still investigating whether the suspects have connection with terror group

Nico said in the course of the robbery, Asullah was allegedly assigned to observe the movements of PT SSI employees and police personnel who were escorting the cash carriers as they replenished the cash at the Bank Rakyat Indonesia ATM in Plaza Medan Fair.

PT SSI provides ATM installment and maintenance services.

Asullah is also alleged to have provided a police uniform and lent his rifle to one of the robbers.

'€œHe provided the police uniform and rifle to one of the perpetrators who was disguised as a police officer in the robbery,'€ alleged Nico.

He said Asullah was also tasked with seeking out Mudrawaty, a soothsayer, to provide a talisman believed to be able to protect the robbers from being caught after stealing the money.

Nico said Mudrawaty allegedly received Rp 500 million from the haul.

'€œWe were able to seize around Rp 2.4 billion stolen by the robbers, including the Rp 500 million from Mudrawaty,'€ said Nico, adding police were still looking for the remainder of the stolen cash.

Last year, the National Police arrested four men believed to be linked to terrorism-related activities in two separate locations in Medan; North Sumatra, and Bima; West Nusa Tenggara (NTB).

Three of the men were affiliated with Fadli Sadama'€™s terror group.

They allegedly took part in a string of bank robberies between 2008 and 2010, including the 2010 CIMB Niaga bank robbery, in which a gang of 16 men killed a security guard and fled with Rp 370 million.

Fadli, a key member of the Medan chapter of Jamaah Islamiyah (JI), escaped from prison while serving an 11-year sentence for supplying firearms used in the CIMB Niaga bank heist and an attack on police.

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