Bayu Marhaenjati, Yeremia Sukoyo, Jakarta – At least 15 people have been arrested for their role in a land scam based on a police complaint lodged by the family of former deputy foreign minister Dino Patti Djalal.
The gang has allegedly forged ownership document of a land and building in South Jakarta belonging to Zurni Hasyim Djalal, who is Dino's mother.
Dino, who served as the Indonesian ambassador to the United States in 2010-13, claimed that he's eager to launch an all-out war against what he called as "land mafia".
"Ever since I heard that my mother became a victim [of a property fraud gang], there has been this fearless attitude inside me," Dino told Jakarta Globe's sister publication Beritasatu on Tuesday. "Who else if not me to defend her?" he said of his 84-year-old mother.
He said his near-death experience in September has encouraged him to fight for a good cause.
"I contracted Covid in September and could hardly survive. After recovery, I thought I was given a second chance to live. I thought I must not half-heartedly fight for something," said Dino, who introduced himself on his Twitter profile as "advocate of truth, not power".
The police complaint was made after the land was put on multiple acquisition deals without the consent of the true owner. It was later found that the certificate and other related documents have been forged, carrying a different owner.
In a recent press conference, Jakarta Police spokesman Chief Comr. Yusri Yunus said the 15 suspects have played different roles in the crime.
One member was tasked with looking for land owners who intend to sell their assets, approaching and persuading them to sell the property to another gang member.
Another suspect, masquerading as a land associate official, then visited the victim to borrow documents, arguing that he needed to verify their authenticity with the National Land Agency, or BPN.
Once the authentic documents were at the group's hands, the forgery works began, according to Yusri. The imposter forged signatures of the land owner and her spouse to arrange a bogus transaction with a fake buyer.
The fake buyer, a woman identified by initials V.G.A., brought all transactions documents including fake notary testimony to the BPN for renewal under her name.
After obtaining legal documents from the BPN, she sold the land and the building for another buyer named Hendry Octavianus at a "price" of Rp 10 billion.
Hendry resold the property to another buyer named Thomas Irawan Tjahjono for Rp 18.8 billion. The last two buyers aren't implicated with a crime.
Among the key suspects was a man identified as Fredy Kusnadi, the husband of the fake buyer. Police said Fredy has met with Dino's mother several times prior to the bogus transaction.