Wed, 23 Aug 2000

Police arrest businessman over murder

JAKARTA (JP): Police have arrested a businessman over the murder of the secretary-general of the Jakarta-based Siliwangi Boxing Club, Erwin Sapta Wiradi, an officer said on Tuesday.

Chief of Jakarta Police detectives Sr. Supt. Harry Montolalu said detectives arrested the man, identified only as Syarif, at his house in Selabintana, Sukabumi regency, West Java, on Monday night.

"The suspect said during a preliminary investigation that he killed Erwin in Cianjur last Tuesday when they were driving to Jakarta," Harry said after a police function in Depok, some 30 kilometers south of Jakarta.

He said police arrested the man after they found a license plate and driver's license along with Edwin's corpse in a rented Kijang van left in the parking lot of the Hilton Hotel in Central Jakarta.

"The license was for a white BMW, registration number B 70, registered as belonging to construction firm PT Tri Daya in Kemang, South Jakarta," he said.

Harry said the company's president director, Hanni, admitted that the car belonged to the company.

"Hanni said she had sent an employee, Erwin, to Sukabumi several months ago to manage the construction of a school building," he said.

He said Hanni introduced Erwin to a local man, Syarif, who became the company's business partner in the project.

"Syarif said he needed Rp 3 billion (US$365,850) to construct the building, including a Rp 900 million registration fee with the education and culture ministry," Harry said, adding that Hani agreed that Syarif be paid Rp 900 million for his help in getting the permit for the construction.

"But, after the money was handed over to Syarif in July, there had been no information on whether Syarif had succeeded in getting the permit.

"Therefore, Hanni sent Erwin last week to find Syarif in Sukabumi and explain about the money," Harry said.

He said the two people could not reach an agreement over the money and decided to bring the matter to Hanni in Jakarta.

"However, on their way to Jakarta, both men became involved in a fight, which ended with the death of Erwin," Harry said.

Earlier on Thursday, Tanah Abang Police officer Sr. Insp. Romano Yoyol said Erwin's body had severe bruising around the eyes and cuts to the mouth.

A source at Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital, however, said that Erwin died after taking drugs.

Harry said the hospital had found traces of shabu-shabu (crystal methamphetamine) in the victim's body.

He declined to comment on whether the victim had been forced to take the drugs.

He said Syarif took the corpse to Jakarta and left it in the hotel's parking lot, hoping it would be thought that Erwin died of a drug overdose.

"The suspect then went home to Sukabumi," he said, adding that the police seized some Rp 50 million from Erwin, part of the Rp 900 million. (asa)