Mon, 10 Oct 1994

Police probing scam that preys on students

JAKARTA (JP): The South Jakarta police precinct is questioning a top executive of Yayasan Berkat Sarana Pendidikan (YBSP) for allegedly cheating students from several countries, including Indonesia, out of millions of rupiah.

"We started questioning Benny Setiadji on Thursday and hope the results can be revealed by next week," South Jakarta police precinct Chief Lt. Col. Silvanus Yulian Wenas told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.

YBSP is the owner of the Australian Business Education Institute (ABEI) at the Wijaya Grand Center, Blok A No. 12 A - B in South Jakarta. ABEI was closed down by Benny, chairman of the foundation, without warning. The foundation has reportedly refused to facilitate the transfer of its former students to another foundation, named Yayasan Pendidikan Indonesia Belanda (YPIB), chaired by Juangga M. Mangunsong.

YPIB is said to have taken over the responsibility for the institute.

"Based on our investigations, Benny is the one who has to take over the responsibility of the students," Wenas said.

Over 30 students, including students from Egypt, Malaysia, Russia and South Korea, have registered to take several business and hotel management courses with the school. Fees are set at between Rp 800,000 (US$366) for a three-month course and Rp 3.6 million for a one-year course, per person.

The students claimed they had taken classes for only two to three weeks before YBSP suddenly closed them down without the students' knowledge.

Wenas said that police have also questioned six students from the institute as witnesses. (bsr)