Father of UK’s most prolific rapist wanted in connection with palm oil deforestation case in Indonesia

Reynhard Sinaga, an Indonesian national sentenced to life in prison for 136 counts of rape in the UK. Photo: Instagram
Reynhard Sinaga, an Indonesian national sentenced to life in prison for 136 counts of rape in the UK. Photo: Instagram

Reynhard Sinaga, an Indonesian national who was sentenced to life in prison for 136 counts of rape in the UK, has dominated headlines in Indonesia and all around the world for the heinous nature and immense scale of his crime. Reynhard’s case has also put his family in Indonesia under the media spotlight, with one allegation of criminal wrongdoing by his father being dug up for publication.

Related — Indonesian student Reynhard Sinaga, jailed for life for 136 rapes in the UK, hinted at his ‘dark side’ in dissertation 

According to local media reports, Reynhard is the son of a property tycoon named Saibun Sinaga, who lives in Depok, West Java with the rest of the family. While the family has tried to keep a low profile following Reynhard’s conviction, Saibun most notably gave a statement to the media saying that his son’s punishment “fits his crimes.”

Now, Saibun’s name has been linked to a deforestation case in Riau. According to reports, in 2019, a man named Martua Sinaga (specific relation to Saibun is not yet clear, as Sinaga is the name of one of the biggest clans in the Batak tribe) was sentenced to three years and eight months in prison for illegally clearing out 288 hectares of a forest in Riau to make way for a palm oil plantation in 2017.

An investigation into the case by the Law Enforcement Division of the Environment and Forestry Agency (DLHK) in Riau found that Martua acted on behalf of Saibun, who wired money to the former to carry out the land clearing. However, Saibun never fulfilled DLHK’s summons to testify in the case.

“Up to now, Saibun Sinaga still maintains his wanted status,” DLHK Riau investigator Agus told Kumparan yesterday.

The UK’s most prolific rapist

As reported by the BBC, Reynhard, a post-graduate student in Manchester, was found guilty of 136 counts of rape, eight counts of attempted rape, 14 counts of sexual assault, and one count of assault by penetration against 48 men he lured from outside nightclubs to his apartment, where he drugged and sexually assaulted them while filming the attacks. 

UK authorities say they have evidence that Sinaga assaulted at least 190 victims over a 10-year period, after having moved to England to study in 2007, though many remain unidentified.

Most of his victims had no recollection of the assault due to the effects of the date rape drug Reynhard used. He was caught in 2017 when one victim regained consciousness while being assaulted, fought Reynhard off and notified the police.

Reynhard, described by prosecutors as “the most prolific rapist in British legal history,” was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 30 years in jail before he could be considered for release. In his defense, Reynhard said that he had consensual sex with the victims, and that they agreed to pretend to be asleep while he filmed them having sex.

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