Police in Bali arrested a Russian national for allegedly extorting a businessman while claiming to be a member of Interpol, with the victim reportedly losing IDR400 million (US$27,661) worth of cash and 21 motorcycles.
In a press conference held earlier today, the head of Bali Police’s General Crimes Unit Djuhandhani Rahardjo said that the crime began when the suspect ?— identified by his initials EB ?— went to the victim’s vehicle rental business in Canggu back in February. There, EB reportedly claimed to be a member of Interpol and accused the victim of running an illegal business.
EB extorted the victim and demanded him to hand over 21 of his motorbikes, threatening to report the issue to Indonesian authorities if he didn’t comply. EB’s terror continued, as he would send the victim messages via WhatsApp accusing him of drug trafficking as well.
“If the victim did not obey him, then the victim would be reported to the police. It was said there that the victim’s business was known by authorities as a place to store and sell drugs,” Djuhandhani said.
In late May, EB contacted the victim and requested IDR400 million and one Yamaha N-Max motorbike as a “security fee.” The victim reportedly complied with his request as he’d feared prison time, but grew suspicious and eventually reported the matter to actual authorities on July 1.
Police say they are in pursuit of two other Russian nationals, identified as OB and MZ, who may be involved in the scam operation.
“We have only arrested one, they must be part of a group but we are sure that there are other victims who may be afraid to report [to authorities]. We will continue to look into it,” Djuhandhani said.
EB has been charged with violation of articles on extortion under Indonesia’s Criminal Code (KUHP), which carries a maximum prison sentence of 4 years.