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Police name 30 suspects in crackdown on land scammers

Jakarta Globe - July 18, 2022

Beritasatu, Jakarta – The Jakarta Police have named at least 30 criminal suspects in recent operations targeting suspected land scammers in the capital city, a senior officer said on Monday.

Of the many suspects, 13 are employees of the National Land Agency, or BPN, in Jakarta and neighboring Bekasi.

"The 13 suspects are BPN employees, including six part-time employees and seven civil servants," Jakarta Police's General Crime Division director Chief Comr. Hengki Haryadi told reporters at his office.

He added that 25 people have been detained but didn't explain why five others are allowed to be on the loose.

The identities of all the suspects have not been disclosed.

The ongoing investigation into the case has uncovered many new tactics employed by the suspected scammers, Hengki said.

For instance, several of the suspects have tampered with the BPN's internal system to gain unauthorized access to employees' accounts.

"One of the [compromised] accounts belongs to then BPN Chairman and Agrarian and Spatial Planning Minister Sofyan Djalil that was used to alter physical and legal data of the victims' land certificates and to occupy other people's lands," Hengki said.

The police operations came after President Joko Widodo appointed former military chief Air Chief Marshal (ret.) Hadi Tjahjanto as the new BPN chairman and agrarian minister last month.

BPN spokesman Teguh Hari Prihatono has said the agency is in full support of the crackdown on land scammers and vowed to help police in the investigation.

Teguh indicated that land scams, such as the existence of dual certificates on a single land, could occur because of the works of insiders.

"The Agrarian and Spatial Planning Ministry and the BPN are fully committed to eradicating land scammers but we need support from the community. [Land owners] need to actively play a role in safeguarding their own assets," he said.

"The recent arrests in the past few days represent a clear message from the minister that if you don't immediately correct yourself, it's not impossible that others will get caught," he added.

Hadi himself was present at the Jakarta Police headquarters during Monday's media briefing.

"If there's any violation, I will not hesitate to dismiss, press legal charges, and fire [the disgraced official]," Hadi said with Jakarta Police Chief Insp. Gen. Fadil Imran sitting next to him.

"I have instructed my inspector general to safeguard the system and performance of any employee at the Agrarian and Spatial Planning Ministry and the BPN," he added.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/police-name-30-suspects-in-crackdown-on-land-scammer