The Greater Metropolitan Regional Police recently arrested two of three people suspected of being involved in a romance scam which defrauded an Indonesian citizen of up to 2.4 billion rupiahs.
The suspects currently in custody are a foreign male from Nigeria bearing the initials UT and an Indonesian female bearing the initials CS.
The fraud began when the suspect asked the victim, PC, to get familiar with Instagram and continued their conversation on WhatsApp. The perpetrator told the victim that he was a female member of the US military who wanted to leave the military and move to Indonesia.
After the communication became intense, the attacker was sure that the victim had been hit. Director of the Criminal Investigation Special Police Chief Commissioner Auliansyah Lubis believes that the victim was not hypnotized but rather tempted by the seduction tactics used against her, leading them to believe that they were in a relationship.
The perpetrator then convinced the victim to travel to Indonesia to get married. For this, they requested cash totaling US$2 million.
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“The suitcase had already left for Indonesia, the money was there. The suspect asked for help, “please send me the money first for me to go to Indonesia and for the suitcase to arrive in Indonesia,” he said.
The victim continued to send funds until 2.4 billion rupees to the author through two suspects who had been arrested by the police. These two suspects acted as fundraisers, so they were also arrested by the police in order to prosecute the main perpetrator.
“They are the ones who opened the account and accepted the funds. But we haven’t found the main perpetrator who sent the first direct message and made a big fuss, so we’re still investigating further,” Lubis explained.
The suspects are charged with Section 28(1) in conjunction with Section 45(1) of Law Number 19 of 2016 amending Law Number 11 of 2007 relating to electronic information and transactions. The criminal faces a maximum of six years in prison or a fine of 1 billion rupees. Sections 3, 4 and 5 of ML Act Number 8 of 2010 are also enforced with a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of Rs 10 billion.