Sat, 12 Aug 2000

31 foreigners netted in Glodok discotheque raid

JAKARTA (JP): National Police officers rounded up 31 foreigners during a midnight raid at popular discotheque Raja Mas in Glodok, West Jakarta, for failing to show complete travel documents, an officer said on Friday.

Sr. Supt. Saleh Saaf from the National Police's information unit said detectives assigned in Wednesday's operation, which was called a routine sweep, was also implemented to search for suspects connected to the Aug. 1 bombing in front of the residence of Philippine Ambassador Leonides T. Caday in Central Jakarta.

"The police also questioned the detained foreigners over the bomb blast since there was a possibility that foreign parties might have been involved in the bombing," he said.

Saleh, however, did not give any further details on the results of the interrogations of the 31 foreigners. The police questioned four Filipinos, 20 Malaysians, three Hong Kong nationals, two Brunei citizens, a Singaporean and a Thai.

The officer said the foreigners were rounded up while they were enjoying themselves in the Raja Mas discotheque, one of the largest nightspots in the capital.

The foreigners were released from the National Police Headquarters at about 5 p.m. on Thursday after they were questioned for several hours and showed complete and valid documents of their presence in the country to the officers, Saleh said.

"The police investigators freed them later after they were able to provide complete documents, such as a residence permit or KITAS, registration certificate for temporary residents and police registration (SKLD)," he said.

Two people were killed and 21 others injured, including the Philippine envoy, in the devastating bomb blast.

The raid, led by Asst. Supt. Wibhiyanto from the National Police's supervision unit for foreigners, disappointed Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Nurfaizi, a reliable source at Nurfaizi's office said.

"The National Police have (again) gone beyond their jurisdiction, since they raided a discotheque without informing us first," Nurfaizi was quoted as saying by the police source, who asked for anonymity.

According to the source, his superior, Nurfaizi, a former National Police spokesman, was upset with the raid since no one from the National Police team informed him about the raid in the Chinatown business area of Glodok.

In May, a similar situation erupted between National Police and Jakarta Police officers when detectives from the National Police Headquarters raided street traders of pirated VCDs in the area, a short walk from the Raja Mas discotheque.

Nurfaizi and his top aides publicly explained that they had no idea of the move and were not informed about the raid, which later ended with several shops damaged and gutted in Glodok. The area is under the jurisdiction of the Jakarta Police.

It is no longer a secret that Glodok has become a gold mine for corrupt police and military officers and city officials for collecting extra money from operators of gambling dens, massage parlors, discotheques and distributors or big suppliers of pirated VCDs and CDs.

Nurfaizi could not be reached for comment but officer Saleh from the National Police rejected the accusation, saying that they had informed the city police headquarters over the raid at Raja Mas.

"An intelligence officer at West Jakarta Police even took part in it," he said. (asa)