2 National Police officers under investigation over alleged extortion of Canadian fraudster

A 50-year-old Canadian man named Stephane Gagnon, who was recently arrested on fraud charges, claims he was extorted by two National Police (Polri) officers and a civilian for IDR1 billion (US$67,282) in Bali.

Bali Police spokesman Stefanus Satake Bayu Setianto was quoted by CNN Indonesia as saying that the three extortion suspects are being investigated by Polri’s internal affairs division (Propam).

“We don’t know the result [of the investigation] yet,” he said yesterday.

Bayu emphasized that the police officers in question are not members of the Bali Police. The civilian is based in Jakarta.

Bali Police arrested Gagnon in Canggu on May 20 after they received a notification from Interpol. Gagnon, a businessman, is accused of defrauding hundreds of investors from Canada, collecting US$14.8 million between 2015 and 2021.

Prior to Gagnon’s arrest in Bali, Gagnon’s attorney, Parhur Dalmunthe, said that his client was extorted by the civilian, who claimed to have connections within Polri’s international relations division. The civilian allegedly demanded money from Gagnon and threatened that he would be arrested if he did not comply.

Gagnon wired a cumulative sum of IDR1 billion to the civilian in separate transactions throughout February. 

“After that, [the civilian] asked again for IDR3 billion (US$201,848). [My client] refused to pay, and indeed he was arrested,” Parhur added.

Gagnon is challenging the charges filed against him on the grounds of an administrative irregularity – specifically how his passport is different to the one listed by Interpol in their red notice.

Gagnon revealed the extortion scandal as an objection towards his arrest. His deportation from Indonesia has been postponed amid the investigation.

Parhur said that Gagnon has resided in Bali since 2020. He holds a limited stay permit (KITAS) and a license to operate a business in Indonesia.

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