iCrime: Jakarta police catch fake courier in IDR67 million Macbook Pro theft

2021 Apple Macbook Pros. Photo: Apple
2021 Apple Macbook Pros. Photo: Apple

The Jakarta Metro Police say they have caught an imposter courier and his accomplice, who stole at least one Macbook Pro in a case that has rang alarm bells for Indonesians who like to order their high-end electronic devices online.

The case initially attracted nationwide attention when Untung Putro, the owner of Apple reseller chain Untung Store, shared on social media that he had been scammed. According to him, he ordered online a new Macbook Pro worth IDR67 million (US$4,699) — presumably a customized maxed out model, which is not available at official Apple retailers in Indonesia — on Nov. 12.

The seller then handed the product to an app-based motorcycle taxi driver (locally known as ojol) to deliver to Untung. However, the Macbook never arrived.

After complaining to the online marketplace where the online purchase took place, an investigation revealed that the perpetrator had bought other drivers’ accounts and used them to pick up and run away with valuable packages. 

Untung then posted about the theft on social media, which prompted some 15 others to come forward and say that they have also recently lost valuable packages under similar circumstances.

Though Untung’s purchase was insured, the entrepreneur reported the theft to the Jakarta Metro Police on Saturday.

Today, the Jakarta Metro Police announced the capture of two suspects related to the case, namely the fake courier, identified by his initials RF, and his accomplice, HS.

According to the police, the pair bought verified ojol accounts online, circumventing the app’s identity verification measures like face recognition using the primitive-but-reportedly-effective method of wearing a print-out of the rightful account owner’s portrait.

“After receiving delivery orders for electronic devices like cellphones, laptops, CPUs, and others from customers, the suspect RF would not deliver them to their rightful recipients,” Jakarta Metro Police spokesman E. Zulpan said in a press conference today.

The two suspects have been charged with online fraud under the Information and Electronic Transactions Act (UU ITE) and embezzlement under the Criminal Code (KUHP), for which they may each face up to six years in prison.

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