The police have arrested six suspects who are allegedly involved in cyber fraud on Thursday. Authorities say the group is from Makassar, South Sulawesi, but have been running their operations in Bali for the past three months.
Have you ever received a text message offering easy loans? It’s possible that these guys were behind those texts. In a statement, police said victims are exhorted to take on the loans due to their low interests, and then told to pay up an “administrative amount” to a Makassar bank account, after which the victims’ numbers will then be blocked.
“In a month, this group could rack up as much as IDR 30 million (USD 2,071), and one suspect usually had as many as 80 victims,” said South Denpasar Police Chief Nyoman Wirajaya, as quoted in the statement.
As reported by the Jawa Pos network, Herman (31), Irwan (23), Rezki (20), Ahmad Musrabahab (23), Agus (33) and Sukri (32) were arrested on May 10. Police say they were targeting people from all over Indonesia.
“They learned this on their own. Herman was behind all of it … All the money was transferred to Herman’s bank account. They acquired IDR 16 million (USD 1,106) in just two weeks,” Wirajaya said.
Police said the group’s modus operandi was to demand fees of between IDR 500,000 (USD 34.5) and IDR 5 million from their victims and they had the ability to send out messages to thousands of phone numbers per day.
The police also secured four laptops, nine phones, and more than a hundred SIM cards as evidence in the case. According to the police, Herman was the brains of the operation.
Under Indonesia’s Information and Electronic Transactions Law, the group could face up to six years in prison and a hefty fine.