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Jakarta Post

Busted prostitution ring sparks fears of child trafficking network in W. Java

  • Theresia Sufa

    The Jakarta Post

Bogor, West Java   /   Sun, September 4, 2016   /  01:47 pm
Busted prostitution ring sparks fears of child trafficking network in W. Java On alert -- Iwan Setiawan, head of the inmate affairs division at Paledang Prison, Bogor, shows a list of trafficking-related convicts released from the prison in 2015 and 2016. (JP/Theresia Sufa)

Ciawi Market in Bogor, West Java, has come into the spotlight after a male prostitution ring was uncovered earlier this week. More than 99 children have fallen victim to the prostitution ring, which has reportedly been operating since last year.

The arrest of two suspects at the market on Wednesday evening startled vendors and local residents, feeding suspicions about a large-scale prostitution network operating in the area.

Siti Juleha, a food vendor in front of Ciawi Market, said she was acquainted with U, one of the two suspects. “I’ve known [U] for a long time,” Siti told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

The man, she added, had worked at a kiosk belonging to Yayan, a Ciawi Market vegetable vendor, and later opened his own vegetable stall.

According to Siti, U was friendly and stylish. He frequently visited a beauty parlor near the market.

In running his vegetable kiosk, Siti further said, U was usually supported by three or four male teenagers between seven and 13 year of age. The children would usually work at his kiosk only for a short time, before they were replaced by other children. All children working at his kiosk would refer to U as “ayah” (father), she said.

“It seems to us he is a good person. He is a father of two. His wife gave birth to their second child last month,” said Siti.

Yayan’s sister Yuyun said U had worked at Ciawi Market since he was seven years old. “He previously worked at a kiosk belonging to my mother, Siti Hodijah. After my mother stopped running her business, [U] worked at my brother’s kiosk. Two years ago, he quit his job, without saying anything to us, to open his own kiosk,” said Yuyun.

Business as usual – A vegetable kiosk belonging to U, a child trafficking suspect arrested by National Police officers on Aug. 30, at Ciawi Market in Bogor, West Java, runs as usual after the arrest.(JP/Theresia Sufa)

U and another suspect, identified by the initial E, were arrested for their alleged involvement in the child prostitution ring for male clients.

Brig. Gen. Agung Setya, director of the special economic crimes investigation unit at the National Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim), said they were related with AR, a suspected procuress the police had arrested at a hotel in Cipayung, Puncak, Bogor, on Tuesday.

Police said AR had been released several months ago, after serving two-and-a-half year in prison for trafficking offenses.

The arrests point to rampant sex trafficking in and around Bogor.

Iwan Setiawan, head of the inmate affairs division at Paledang Prison, Bogor, said three inmates on trafficking offenses had been released from the prison in 2016.

In 2015, he said, the penitentiary had released five trafficking convicts, including Arjo Raharjo alias Ricko bin Warto, 43, a resident Cilember, Cipayung district, Bogor regency. He had been sentenced to three years after being found guilty in a human trafficking case, he went on.

Iwan said Arjo had initially been slated for release in March 2016, but was set free in Nov 2015 after receiving a sentence remission.

“I don’t know whether or not AR, arrested by Bareskrim, is Arjo Raharjo, but if it is him, I can confirm that he was released in November last year,” said Iwan.

National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian promised to completely investigate the child prostitution case. “We will arrest anyone involved in this crime,” he said on Friday. (ebf)


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