Mon, 15 May 2000

S. Jakarta police catch 19 people in gambling raid

JAKARTA (JP): South Jakarta Police detectives arrested 19 people and confiscated gambling equipment and cash during a raid on Saturday night in the Grand Wijaya Center office/shop complex.

"Of the 19 people arrested, 14 claim to be Korean nationals. But we have to check their IDs first," South Jakarta Police chief Lt. Col. Edward Aritonang told The Jakarta Post.

Police confiscated 19 slot machines, two logbooks, US$400, Rp 4.15 million (US$488) and other pieces of gambling equipment.

It was the first raid by the South Jakarta Police under the leadership of Edward, who was appointed chief on Thursday.

As the head of Tanjung Priok Port Police (KP3), Edward and his detectives were involved in preventing smuggling of wood, illegal VCDs and luxury cars.

A city police source said Grand Wijaya Center, located next to the South Jakarta Police Headquarters, was not targeted in the past for raids due to payoffs to some officers in the South Jakarta Police.

Edward identified the main suspect as Yan Yang Han Ho, or Renny, who allegedly ran the gambling den in the three-story building, 62 B in Block F.

"Four waitresses and 14 players were arrested," Aritonang said.

The visitors arrested were identified as Park Il Dong Lim, Ju Hang Song, Chung Su Lim, Jo Yeun Choy, Deck Ki Min, Chun Byung Chul, Je Ryan Moon, Sang Kil Chung, Lee Yong Sun, Lee Wang Soo, Sang Swa Park, Cho Yung Suk, Le Gans Hyan and Lee Yung Ho.

The raid was led by Second Lt. Nur Santiko and Second Lt. Agung.

Police officers conducting the raid found a police officer and three employees standing guard on the first floor.

"Seeing the police officers, the officer and three employees guarding the floor could not do anything. The officers went on to the second floor, where they caught the 14 men and four waitresses. The third floor was empty," a source said.

The source said the gambling den operated under the name of Mirae Travel Agency since it was established in 1997.

"It makes about Rp 30 million (US$3,529) a day, and operates from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. It uses coins, each worth Rp 50,000, in the gambling game."

The den, the source said, was run under the company name of PT Kreasi Sakti Mandiri, owned by Renny.

The National Police, along with the Attorney General's Office, has stated its commitment to crack down on gambling.

Attorney General Marzuki Darusman said previously that his office, in cooperation with the National Police, would take actions against gambling in the country.

Marzuki said that during a conversation with National Police Chief Lt. Gen. Rusdihardjo, the two agreed their institutions would follow up on President Abdurrahman Wahid's instruction to arrest businessman Tommy Winata, owner of Bank Artha Graha, for allegedly organizing gambling.

"The police force will soon stop the gambling operations which reportedly have been running on Ayer island, north of Jakarta Bay, and on a cruise ship," he told journalists at his office last week.

In a recent talk show on private television station SCTV, Abdurrahman said that he had instructed the police to seize a cruise ship belonging to a young businessman and to arrest its owner for using it for gambling. (ylt)