Sat, 05 Jul 2003

Two foreigners arrested in Riau

BATAM, Riau: The police in Tanjung Pinang on Bintan island arrested on Friday a Malaysian and a Singaporean for the possession of counterfeit Indonesian banknotes.

Malaysian Said Abdullah bin Said Hasan, 60, and Singaporean Syed ali bin Al Habsi, 52, were caught red-handed in possession of the counterfeit banknotes which, had they been real, would have been worth Rp 950,000 (US$115) when they were arrested at Halim Hotel in the town.

Tanjung Pinang Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Widodo Eko said that the two were arrested after the police received a tip from a massage parlor manager, who accused the two of paying their bill with counterfeit Rp 50,000 banknotes for services rendered by two sex workers who were arranged by the massage parlor.

"After being checked, it is clear that the money is fake," he said.

Widodo said that the suspects worked as security guards at a company in Singapore and claimed they had received the phony bills from an unidentified person in Singapore.

"We are still trying to find out exactly how much of the fake money the two brought to Indonesia," he added. --JP