The Jakarta Post
A panel of judges at the Jakarta Commercial Court ordered on Tuesday First Travel agency to pay back its customers – who alleged they had fallen victim to an umrah (minor haj) scam.
The decision was made following the Religious Affairs Ministry’s revocation of the company’s permit to organize umrah tours.
“We agree with the debt postponement petition status,” said presiding judge John Tony Hutahuruk during a court hearing in Jakarta on Tuesday.
The police named Anniesa Hasibuan, the owner and director of First Travel, a fraud suspect together with her husband Andika Surachman, the president director of the company and her sister, Siti Nuraidah Hasibuan.
The National Police said on Tuesday that total losses had reached Rp 848.70 billion (US$63.59 million), involving 58,682 First Travel customers.
Anggi Putra Kusuma, a lawyer, who represented the customers, applauded the court’s decision, saying the company should be held accountable for its debts.
“All facts show that First Travel has an obligation to repay its customers,” said Anggi, who was hired by three First Travel customers who were booked by the agency to travel to Mecca in May and June.
Anggi said the court decision was valid for all former First Travel customers. (bbn)