A Saudi citizen has been arrested for the suspected murder of his new Indonesian wife, who he allegedly doused with a highly concentrated acidic liquid in their home in Cianjur, West Java.
The suspect, a 29-year-old Saudi man with the initials AL, married 21-year-old S some two months ago in a nikah siri arrangement, which fulfills Islamic nuptial requirements but is not recognized by the state.
According to the police, early on Saturday morning, the newlywed couple had an argument that ended with AL splashing S with acid. S suffered burn wounds all throughout her body, and she succumbed to her injuries by Saturday evening at a hospital in the provincial capital of Bandung.
Police said AL, who has lived in Indonesia for two years and claims to be an agarwood trader, was arrested as he attempted to leave the country through Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport on Sunday.
“The suspect’s motive [for the murder] is heartbreak and jealousy. That jealousy sparked the argument between them,” Cianjur Police Crime Investigation Unit Chief Septiawan Adi said.
AL may face life imprisonment for murder. The suspect is set for further police questioning today with representatives from the Saudi Embassy present.
The phenomenon often involves male Middle Eastern tourists entering into temporary marriage contracts with local women in order to circumvent the sins of premarital sex. Often, the women are neglected afterwards with children from the short marriages to raise on their own.