The Jakarta Post
The National Police’s crime investigation department will probe alleged cartel in the distribution of red bird-eye chilies, which has been blamed for the price increase of the commodity.
The commodity price hit a record at Rp 200,000 (US$15) in West Java’s town of Cianjur on Tuesday, although prices from farmers range from Rp 50,000 to Rp 70,000.
National Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Martinus Sitompul stressed that three wholesalers had been arrested, while another six wholesalers would be the next targets as they were accused of being responsible for skyrocketing the chili prices from December 2016 to February.
“We know of nine wholesalers. On Thursday, there will be another individual, who had the capacity to control prices,” said Martinus as reported by tribunnews.com on Thursday, adding that all the wholesalers came from Central Java.
All nine wholesalers would be questioned by National Police investigators, he said.
Martinus also said the police expanded their investigation to search for the involvement of other people beyond the wholesalers.
“The investigators want to probe whether or not they made agreements on the prices [of chilies],” the police officer said.
The suspects have been accused of violating Law No. 5/1999 on monopoly bans and business competition and Law No. 7/2014 on trade. (bbn)
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