Tue, 04 Jan 2000

Last year's crime rates show a slight increase

JAKARTA (JP): The country registered a 0.7 percent rise in crime in 1999 from the previous year, but the characteristics of the cases were increasingly ruthless, National Police chief Gen. Roesmanhadi said on Monday.

Briefing the media about overall police work during 1999, the outgoing police chief said 111,457 criminal cases were recorded during the year, slightly higher than 1998's 105,849.

"But 1999 was a year of vicious crimes. It's not in the number, but in the characteristics of the crimes. We were kept really busy throughout the year," the four-star general said.

"Outstanding cases of last year included street crimes and narcotics."

According to police data, the most crime cases in 1999 were recorded in East Java followed by Greater Jakarta, West Java, North Sumatra and Central Java.

"For the people, the economic crisis is far from ending. They are getting more desperate for money, and will do anything simply to feed themselves," Roesmanhadi said.

He added that juvenile delinquency and drug offenses also increased.

"Juvenile delinquency cases rose to 103 in 1999 from 67 in the previous year. Drug offenses increased to 1,898 from 1,415 in 1998," he said.

Other crime cases that also showed a significant increase in 1999 included homicide, arson, torture, violent robbery and auto theft.

On road accidents, Roesmanhadi said that 12,748 accidents were recorded last year, slightly lower than the 1998 figure of 15,097.

A total of 10,454 people were killed, also lower compared to 11,778 in 1998.

Roesmanhadi also disclosed intense nationwide police raids on suspected gambling dens. believed to be used as gambling dens. There was a total of 929 gambling cases, he said.

The police war against trade in pirated and pornographic video compact discs (VCDs) was also carried out in almost all provinces, with 439 cases recorded.

Police also investigated 295 cases related to pornographic materials, mostly concerning publications, in 25 provinces, he said.

Unsolved Cases

Roesmanhadi also revealed his plan to meet members of the House of Representatives (DPR) to disclose the latest results of the police's investigation into the 1993 rape-murder of labor activist Marsinah near Surabaya, East Jakarta, and the 1996 murder of journalist Fuad Muhammad Syafrudin, better known as Udin, at his residence near Yogyakarta.

"We need to reveal the results, since DPR members don't believe that we don't know more than they already do," the officer said.

Late last year, a source at the National Police forensic laboratories (Puslabfor) alleged that traces of blood of Marsinah and several other victims were found at the Porong Military District Command (Kodim) in East Java.

"It was terrible. Our Puslabfor officers saw it with their own eyes. We took samples," the source said.

In the case of Udin, the source added, the main suspects in the killing of the reporter were the then top officials of the Bantul administration.

"In Udin's case though, we have not yet found solid proof," he said.

In the fatal shooting of student protesters at Trisakti University campus in West Jakarta in May 1998 and at the Semanggi area several months later, Roesmanhadi said his officers found no conclusive evidence to name any suspects.

But the National Police have formed more special teams to investigate the cases.

A Puslabfor source claimed the shooter of Yap Yun Hap, a 23- year-old student of the University of Indonesia who was killed last Sept. 24, was already identified.

The source alleged that the 5.56 caliber bullet which killed Yun Hap came from an Army standard issue weapon, belonging to Second Pvt. TP of the Crack Riot Troops (PPRM).

"There were a total of 53 weapons being thoroughly investigated. They were narrowed down to eight. Of the eight, no. 6 was the weapon which fit with our findings," the source said.

"The weapon was shot at random and was not aimed at anyone in particular. The bullet hit the asphalt road, and ricocheted to Yun Hap's back."

The bullet was 20.9 millimeters long and weighed 3.636 milligrams, the source said.

In the case of the four Trisakti fatalities, the two bullets extracted from the bodies of students Heri Hartanto and Hendriawan Sie were from SS-1 and M-16 A2 rifles.

Concerning the 1997 Bank Indonesia corruption case, Roesmanhadi said that the main suspect was identified as a former central bank director, Hendro Budianto.

"We still need the key witness, Hendra Rahardja, who is undergoing extradition in Australia," Roesmanhadi said.

Hendra, who made the list of Indonesia's most wanted bankers, fled the country in November 1997 following the liquidation of his two banks, Bank Harapan Sentosa (BHS) and Bank Guna International.

He is in a Sydney jail awaiting a procedural hearing on Indonesia's extradition request. (ylt)