Indonesia has strict gun control laws resulting in relatively few incidents of gun violence. In the absence of firearms, though, some criminals do get creative in carrying out their schemes, as happened in the case of a recent grocery store robbery in Tangerang.
According to reports, last night, at around 9:40pm, two alleged robbers went into a 212 Mart (a grocery store chain named for the Islamic hardliner-led “212” protests against former Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama over trumped-up charges that he had blasphemed against Islam) pretending to be customers.
They both took out what appeared to be guns and one of them was also holding a sickle. They used their weapons to threaten the store’s two employees and lock them in the storage room before taking around IDR2 million (US$130) in cash and the employees’ cell phones.
However, after reviewing CCTV footage of the robbery, the police say the employees were actually under no threat of gunshot.
The police have yet to identify and capture the two alleged robbers, who left the grocery store using a motorcycle.
Though guns ownership is mostly illegal in Indonesia, there have been a spate of robberies involving firearms in recent years, some of which took place earlier this year. The police say there’s an active black market for illegal, homemade firearms in the country, some of which can even be fit into the inconspicuous shape of a pen.