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Indonesians arrested after sneaking into APEC zone

Vancouver Sun - November 30, 1997

David Hogben – Two Indonesian security officers were arrested while installing electronics equipment in a secure zone at the Hotel Vancouver during this week's APEC conference.

The prime minister's office and the foreign affairs department confirmed Friday they were aware of the arrests earlier this week, but said they could give no details.

The two Indonesian nationals were inside a marked secure zone atop the Hotel Vancouver on Tuesday.

Sources differ on exactly what the two men were doing.

One said their presence was detected when their soldering gun set off a fire alarm while they were installing an antenna. Another source heard they were spotted on a security camera installed by RCMP and Vancouver police while they were installing a camera of their own.

"The individuals concerned were stripped of their credentials and returned to Indonesia," a source in foreign affairs said.

Two other Indonesians, both security officers, were arrested Tuesday during a demonstration on the University of B.C. campus against, among others, Indonesian President Suharto.

The officers were also stripped of their credentials, turned over to the Indonesian delegation and returned to Indonesia.

They were using radios to communicate at the time of their arrests.

Suharto was targeted by protesters this week for his role in the deaths of 200,000 East Timorese following the illegal occupation of their lands by Indonesian forces. Protesters printed posters declaring Suharto a war criminal and made a symbolic attempt to perform a citizens' arrest during his visit to Vancouver for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference.