Sun, 01 Oct 2000

50 masked men raid discotheque, hurt guests

JAKARTA (JP): Some 50 masked men dressed in black raided the JeJe Discotheque on Jl. Budi Kemuliaan, Tanah Abang in Central Jakarta in the early hours of Saturday.

They smashed windows, several chairs and tables, a computer and some projectors, all worth about Rp 100 million, and injured five guests.

Ari, an employee at the discotheque, said the unidentified group arrived at about 2:10 a.m. in two public minibuses, armed with samurai swords, guns and sticks.

The streets around the building were then full of parked cars. "There were about 600 guests both in the front yard and inside the two-story building," said Ari, adding that there were usually about 800 guests until 5 a.m. on weekends.

He said guests tried to escape from two exits including the emergency door at the back of the building.

Following the attack, "The lights and music were turned off, while some 35 employees helped guests reach the exits," Ari said.

Some guests, who stumbled over broken chairs, sustained slight injuries to their legs and were taken to Budi Kemuliaan Hospital across the way from the discotheque.

According to Supri, a street vendor nearby, some of the attackers dragged two foreigners outside and beat them up, until they managed to escape.

"The attackers suddenly left the building 30 minutes afterwards, and left in their vehicles," said Supri. Police arrived shortly after.

Azis, the operations manager, said that the discotheque, which suffered estimated losses of Rp 20 million, had no enemies nor had it received prior threats.

Chief of the Central Jakarta criminal investigation unit, Sr. Insp. Hendra Suhartiyono said the attack was the first of its kind in Tanah Abang.

Hendra said his investigation team would coordinate with police in Depok, south of here. A similar attack on a discotheque occurred around 00:20 a.m. on Jl. Margonda Raya near the bus terminal there.

The Depok police said the attackers at the Pin Bi Discotheque consisted of some 200 people claiming to be members of the Hizbullah Front group. They wrecked chairs and tables, a minibar, the cashier's desk and made off with some cash, but no one was hurt. They also attacked two pinball kiosks at the bus terminal destroying 20 pinball tables. (07)