Police Hunt Rental-Car Thieves


Bangli Police are hunting members of a gang stole hire cars and sold them outside Bali.

One man was arrested on Wednesday after complaints from rental companies, Bangli Police spokesman I Dewa Nyoman Rai said.

The operation was launched after a complaint from Made Suasana from Bunutin in Bangli. He told officers that he had rented a Daihatsu Xenia to a man named I Gede Ngurah Mudarama from Buleleng for an initial period of 10 days.

“In the contract Mudarama agreed to hire the victim’s car for 10 days, but after 70 days the car had still not been returned, so the victim reported the matter to the police,” Rai said.

Police believe that the car was taken by an organised syndicate and sold in East Java. On Wednesday a man believed to be the local broker for the gang in Java was arrested.

Uswatun Hazanah, 42, was a civil servant working in the Situbondo Department of Religious Affairs. He was arrested in Java and brought to Bali for questioning.

“The suspect was arrested in his home because it is believed that as well as being a civil servant in the Religious Affairs Department he also worked as a receiver of stolen cars for the syndicate,” Rai said.

During questioning Hazanah admitted to having received a total of seven cars from the Bali gang, and selling them on to other people in East Java.

“We are still continuing to track the whereabouts of the rest of the gang,” Rai said, adding that police urged any other renters who had lost vehicles in recent months to come forward.

“At the moment the police are working extra hard to trace this gang of fraudsters who are stealing rental cars,” he said.

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