In many parts of Indonesia, belief in the supernatural remains strong and there are people willing to spend large amounts of money on magical cures for what ails them. A so-called paranormal healer was recently killed in the Batang Regency of Central Java, and police believe the person who orchestrated the alleged murder was a customer who had dropped IDR150 million (US$11,325) on an unsuccessful cure.
On Wednesday morning, the Temanggung Police arrested seven people suspected of the murder of 35-year-old Sugeng Raharjo, who was found lifeless, with stab wounds and a plastic bag over his head, in a rubber plantation in Selosabran Village on September 9. Sugeng was known to be a paranormal healer who had the power to cure various illnesses.
One of those arrested, a woman identified by police as Dewi, has been accused of masterminding the murder plot after she paid Sugeng the IDR150 million to be cured of an as yet undisclosed illness.
Police say that Dewi, along with a man she was close to named Wisnu, recruited five other men to bring Sugeng to the rubber plantation and beat him to death.
“The five other actors who receive money from Dewi got paid IDR600,000 to IDR1 million, the amount depending on their respective roles,” said Temanggung Police Chief Maesa Soegriwa as quoted by Kompas.
After five days of investigation, police were able to track down the seven suspects. They have not yet announced when charges each will face.