Wed, 29 Mar 2000

Govt official tells police of kidnapping

JAKARTA (JP): A government official lodged on Saturday a complaint at the Jakarta Police headquarters that he had been kidnapped by an allegedly notorious debt-collector from the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, held hostage and mentally tortured late last year over a Rp 1 billion bail (US$133,400) demand.

The man, whom police sources identified as state official Nifsan, 58, told officers that he had not dared to come forward before because he had felt extremely traumatized.

"We are still trying to determine, why did this man take so long to make this complaint?" a source said, adding that Nifsan's residence was on Jl. Irida Barat XVIII in Bekasi Jaya, Bekasi Timur.

Police refused to elaborate which state department Nifsan worked for, and what did he owe DH, for which he was allegedly kidnapped.

The police report said Nifsan was kept hostage between Nov. 24 and Nov. 26 last year at the Gading Griya Lestari housing complex, Block A III, No. 41, Kelapa Gading district, North Jakarta.

"Nifsan has identified the person behind this kidnapping as DH. We are questioning five witnesses regarding the case," the source said.

The report also stated that Nifsan had arrived at about 2 p.m. at the Soekarno Hatta International Airport when DH came up to him and asked him to go to a quiet place where they could talk.

When Nifsan complied, DH forcibly took away Nifsan's cellphone and pushed him into a car. He was then taken to the Gading Griya housing complex and held hostage there for two nights.

"I was mentally tortured and wherever I went, even when they allowed me to go to my office, they had bodyguards following me and picking me up from the office," the police report quotes Nifsan as saying.

He pleaded with his kidnapper, telling him that he didn't have any money. Only then was he released, along with a stern warning to pay his alleged debts.

Police sources said this was the year's second case of terrorizing by debt collectors.

On Feb. 19 police arrested Basri Sangaji, head of the Study Forum of Democratic Actions (Forsad), where police found three cars at his Depok residence believed to have been taken by force from their owner, and one kilogram of marijuana.

The raid was made following a complaint filed against Basri earlier in February by Icham, a Pejaten resident in South Jakarta. He accused Basri of occupying Icham's house with the help of the other six men.

Icham said Basri had persistently asked Icham to pay a debt of Rp 100 million.

"Basri is a notorious debt collector, like most of his friends. They have threatened several people on an ongoing basis. We plan to question him not only over the cars and drugs, but also about why he was constantly troubling Icham," city police violence and crime detective chief Maj. Dharma Pongrekun said. (ylt)