Seven men were arrested for the alleged assault and murder of a man in Denpasar, who was reportedly killed in broad daylight.
The aftermath of the incident went viral on social media last week, with clips showing the victim, identified as 34-year-old MD, lying dead on a street in West Denpasar after he was slashed. Police investigation over the weekend led to the arrest of seven debt collectors affiliated with a local lending company.
In a press conference yesterday, Denpasar Police Chief Jansen Avitus Panjaitan explained that the incident began on Friday afternoon, when four people claiming to be debt collectors from PT BMMS paid a man named KW a visit at his boarding house (locally known as kost) to take away his motorbike in lieu of his missing debt payments.
KW and the men agreed that they would go to the company’s main office, and KW went there accompanied by his brother, MD. It was here that the two were beaten up as they both tried to escape. However, the suspects caught up with MD and slashed him in the middle of the road.
“That is where the slashing occurred with a sword-like sharp weapon by WS,” Jansen said, identifying the main suspect by his initials.
Police also found other weapons in the office, he added.
Jansen said that people approached by debt collectors due to late payments during the pandemic can ask for assistance from the authorities. He said that police will continue investigation on lending companies that employ illegal coercive practices.
According to Jansen, confiscation of personal property can only be executed with an official warrant from the court and through an established mechanism.
The suspects have been charged with assault and murder under Indonesia’s criminal code, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
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