Bayu Marhaenjati, Jakarta – A newly-graduating doctor was arrested on Friday for allegedly harassing a woman during a rapid screening for coronavirus at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport, in a case that triggered public outrage after the victim went to social media to detail the incident.
The doctor, identified as Eko Firstson, was arrested at his hometown in North Sumatra, police said in Jakarta.
"We began the hunt for the suspect yesterday and I can confirm that he was arrested in Toba, Samosir, this morning," Jakarta Police spokesman Chief Comr. Yusri Yunus told reporters at his office.
The suspect is now being flown to the Soekarno-Hatta Airport Police Office for a questioning, he said.
Yusri added that Eko immediately left the medical facility at the airport – where he was assigned – upon learning media reports about the case.
"He said he learned from the media about tweets from the victim and immediately left for North Sumatra," Yusri said.
The victim, a Balinese woman identified by initials L.H.I., has tweeted that she was extorted and harassed by the doctor while taking the rapid test at the airport in Tangerang, just west of Jakarta.
The results from the rapid test came back "reactive", meaning that her antibody detected a viral infection that she should follow with a swab test to confirm whether it was coronavirus.
According to her claim, the doctor offered to manipulate the result into "non-reactive" for Rp 1.4 million ($94). It was later found that the earlier "reactive" result was manipulated by the doctor so that he could extort money from the patient.
The victim also said she was sexually harassed, but didn't go into details.
After her story went viral at the social media, the Jakarta Police sent investigators to Bali to interview her and at least 14 witnesses and named Eko a suspect.
The Covid-19 rapid screening at the airport was intended for passengers and organized by state-run pharmaceutical company Kimia Farma. Air passengers are required to produce the Covid-19 free certificate before being allowed to aboard the plane.
The company has confirmed Eko was one of the doctors assigned for the job and vowed to cooperate with the police in the investigation.