A story about an alleged marriage con has become a hot topic in Indonesia as it involves a woman who said she only discovered her husband is actually a woman 10 months after their wedding.
On Wednesday, the 22-year-old woman from Jambi, whose initials are NA, took to social media to share her story amid the national spotlight shining on her, after the Jambi District Court heard the case against the accused, whose initials are AA, on Tuesday.
According to NA, she matched with AA, who claimed to be a man who recently converted to Islam and was seeking a wife, on a dating app in May 2021. Three months later they tied the knot in a nikah siri arrangement, which is recognized by religion but not by the state, as the groom was unable to present his civil documents required for a state-sanctioned wedding.
The newlyweds lived in NA's parents' house for a few months. During that time, NA's parents became suspicious that AA was never able to provide evidence to support his claims that he was a US-trained surgeon and a coal businessman. Despite his impressive credentials, AA would often ask for money from NA and her parents. At the same time, AA's family members and friends always backed his claims, as if they were in on the scam.
To avoid the in-laws' scrutiny, AA took NA away to Lahat, South Sumatra. There, she was mostly locked up in a house for months and prohibited from interacting with anyone, including calling her parents, while AA had access to her finances. She also claimed that she survived a murder attempt when AA told her to jump into a river despite knowing that she can't swim.
In April, NA's mother and the Jambi Police tracked down AA and NA in Lahat. During police interrogation, AA was revealed to be a woman whose real name bears the initials EY.
In all, NA said she and her family were scammed out of IDR300 million (US$20,227) during the "marriage."
Addressing a common query on social media, NA said EY would always turn off the lights and blindfold her before sex. To the police, the con artist said that she used her hands to pleasure NA, but the victim said she was certain that EY used penetrative sexual devices during their lovemaking.
NA's parents reported EY to the authorities for educational record fraud, which may be the first of many charges against her and for which she may face up to 10 years in prison. The trial for that lawsuit is ongoing at the Jambi District Court.