Jakarta – Police arrested a group of calo (middlemen) offering fake rapid test results at Pasar Senen railway station, Central Jakarta, on Sunday.
Jakarta Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Yusri Yunus said they received a report regarding these middlemen on Saturday night. After investigating, they managed to arrest three suspects on Sunday.
"The suspects offered [fake] rapid test results without the need for the test and at a low price," said Yusri.
According to tempo.co, a group of calo was seen at the entrance to the railway station, offering fake health certificates and rapid test results on Saturday
Most of them were seen wearing jackets from ride-hailing apps and approaching train passengers' ojek (motorcycle taxi) drivers, before offering the fake rapid test results.
One of them offered a non-reactive rapid test result at Rp 85,000 (US$6), the same price as an official rapid test service at the station.
However, the middleman said it would only take 30 minutes to get the result and offered to send the passengers to a clinic in Johar Baru subdistrict.
Responding to the issue, state-owned train operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) has ensured that no middlemen were operating at the station.
KAI president director Didiek Hartantyo said in a video on Sunday that they had collaborated with police to solve the issue.
Didiek also said they would take responsibility for any middlemen operating inside the station.
To prevent passengers bringing fake rapid test results, Didiek also said they would reject health certificates from three clinics nearby.
"We will not receive [rapid test results] from three clinics [located] near Pasar Senen railway station," he explained, saying that they doubt the results obtained from those clinics.
PT KAI previously announced that passengers of long-distance trains were required to bring a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or non-reactive rapid test result that is valid for 14 days at the time of the trip.
However, in July, the company started providing rapid testing at several railway stations in a bid to boost ridership and ensure safety for passengers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"We provide this [rapid test] service for the passengers' convenience, especially for those who want to travel during the 'adapting to new habits' era," it said in a written statement on July 27.
Prior to boarding trains, passengers are required to show their ticket for a long-distance train ride to station officials.
Besides providing rapid test services for passengers, PT KAI has applied health protocols in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 on board and at railway stations.
Travelers who plan to take the train are required to be in prime condition and have a temperature below 37.3 degrees Celsius. Aboard the train, passengers have to maintain a safe physical distance, wash their hands routinely and wear masks and long-sleeved clothing. They also must wear face shields provided by the train operator throughout the trip, while children under 3 must bring their own face shield. (jes)