Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – Police in Asahan regency, North Sumatra, have arrested four people for alleged stockpiling of the subsidized Solar brand of diesel fuel in Aek Ledong district and have confiscated around 3 tonnes of fuel and two tank trucks.
Asahan Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Roman Smaradhana said the arrest was made following a tip-off from local residents regarding alleged fuel stockpiling at one of the suspects' warehouse.
The suspects were identified as 36-year-old Fayakun NS, who allegedly runs the scheme, drivers Bagus and Adi and Usman.
Roman said the group would buy subsidized fuel from outside of the regency and then sell it to Asahan fishermen at a higher price.
They would buy fuel for Rp 6,800 (US$0.46) per liter and then sell it for Rp 7,800.
The suspects could be charged under Law No. 22/2001 on oil and gas, and could face a penalty of up to six years in jail and Rp 60 billion in fines.
Roman said the police were looking into whether there were more people involved in the scheme.
Earlier this month, President Joko "Jokowi" Widod hiked subsidized fuel prices by 30 percent and said that the price hike was his "last option" due to fiscal pressures, sparking protests across the nation.
This week, Jokowi was reported to be considering joining India and China in buying Russian oil to offset the increasing pressure of increasing energy costs. (dre)