Fri, 25 Apr 2003

Four people arrested for 1998 murder

Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang, Banten

Four people were arrested on Thursday morning at their homes for a 1998 murder believed to involve two village heads and three local residents of Jayanti district, Tangerang regency.

The main suspect, H. Chaerudin, 35, the head of Pabuaran village, attempted to flee when police came to his house, forcing officers to shoot him in the leg.

Also arrested were Syarifuddin, 35, the head of Kubang village and Chaerudin's older brother, Mentari, 35, and Marjan, 35, both residents of Pabuaran village. Another suspect in the murder, Yanto, 35, was reportedly mobbed to death in 2000 after he was caught attempting to steal a motorcycle.

Second. Insp. Gani Alamsyah, the head of a special unit in the Tangerang Police department, was in charge of the operation to arrest the suspects.

He said the arrests were made after the police received a tip from local residents last week that Chaerudin had masterminded the murder of the 35-year-old Masda, a neighborhood unit chief in Pabuaran village who went missing in July 1998.

After his arrest, H. Chaerudin reportedly admitted to police that he and the other suspects killed Masda, whom he described as a criminal.

"Masda was a thug not a neighborhood unit chief and he frequently extorted money from me. I didn't mean to kill him. I just wanted to teach him a lesson so he would stop his criminal behavior," he said.

H. Chaerudin told police that one day in July 1998 he met with Mentari, Marjan and Yanto to discuss what they should do to stop the victim from extorting money from residents.

Later in the day, Mentari and Yanto picked up the victim at his house and took him to H. Chaerudin's house.

"When I told him (the victim) to stop extorting money from residents and to look for a job he became angry and pulled out a machete, so I slashed him across the neck with my machete before he could injure me," H. Chaerudin reportedly told the police.

He said the other suspects also pulled out knives and stabbed the victim, killing him instantly.

After the victim died the suspects allegedly put the body in a bag and put it in Syarifudin's Toyotoa Kijang. They then drove the body to the Kopel River in Kresek district, weighed the bag down with stones and threw it in the water.

Officer Gani said that Yanto, who was reportedly mobbed to death by local residents, might have been killed by Chaerudin and his accomplices after threatening to go to the police unless he received more money for Masda's murder.