The Jakarta Post
The Central Java Police have named Totok Santoso Hadiningrat and Fanni Amanadia, who proclaimed themselves to be the “king and queen” of Keraton Agung Sejagat, suspects of fraud over the so-called kingdom that they claimed to be the successor to the ancient Majapahit Empire.
The charge followed the police’s investigation into the case, which included conducting a search on the building that served as the kingdom’s “palace” in Pogung Jurutengah village, Bayan district of Purworejo regency, Central Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Rycko Amelza Dahniel said.
“We have changed their status to suspects after finding some preliminary evidence,” Rycko said at a press conference at the Central Java Police headquarters in Semarang on Wednesday.
Totok and Fanni were arrested by the police on Tuesday afternoon, days after they declared the kingdom’s existence, which went viral in social media. They were initially brought to Purworejo Police headquarters along with nine witnesses before they were taken to Semarang for further investigation.
Rycko claimed there was enough evidence to prove Totok, 42, and Fanni, 41, had tried to make money by withdrawing funds from those who wanted to be their followers while also giving the latter promises.
The two people allegedly required each of their followers to pay a contribution of up to Rp 3 million (US$219). Totok previously claimed that the Keraton Agung Sejagat (world empire) has about 425 followers.
In an effort to find followers, Totok and Fanni assured prospective members that they would meet with disaster if they did not serve in the “palace”, according to the police.
The two also reportedly convinced people that being followers of the kingdom would change their destiny for the better.
They were charged with violating Article 14 of Law No. 1/1946 on broadcasting false news and misinformation deliberately, which carried a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, as well as Article 378 of the Criminal Code concerning fraud.
From the results of the examination, Totok and Fanni were accused of having created their empire to defraud local people.
Based on the police’s findings, Totok and Fanni, who claimed to have the royal titles of Rangkai Mataram Agung and Dyah Gitarja, respectively, have been confirmed to not be a married couple, but friends who both came from Jakarta.
During the declaration of the kingdom’s existence on Sunday, Totok and Fanni claimed that their destiny was to fulfill a promise made 500 years ago by the Majapahit Kingdom -- which controlled much of maritime Southeast Asia during its peak in the 14th century -- when it collapse in 1518.
They also held a so-called Wilujengan Keraton Agung Sejagat ritual from Jan. 10 to12 to symbolize the return of Sri Maharatu of Java (highest Javanese king).
The Central Java Police had also asked academic experts from Diponegoro University in Semarang to find out whether the claims made in the case were based on any historical evidence. The results were reportedly negative. (syk)