Authorities have warned locals and tourists to be wary of an ATM scam in the resort island of Bali after the arrest of four suspects on theft and fraud charges, while the family of a suspect in a separate crime has accused police of brutality.
On Tuesday, Aug. 15, Kuta Police announced the arrests of the ring which are accused of ‘hypnotising’ a female victim and persuading her to give up access to her bank cards, Merdeka reported.
“The victim only realised at home that her ATM cards were handed over to the perpetrators. Once checked, withdrawals totaled Rp.4.65 million (US$347),” Kuta Police Chief Wayan Sumara said, as reported by Merdeka.
After reporting the incident to police, authorities quickly tracked down the suspects.
Dubious reports of black magic influenced crimes are common in Indonesia, with victims often manipulated out of cash.
The four men face up to seven years imprisonment.
Meanwhile, Bali Police face accusations of police brutality and torture a man suspected of mugging crimes claimed he had been abused during interrogation.
A report has been filed to the internal affairs division by the family of the suspect, identified by his initials as SH, after he accused Gianyar municipal officers of assault, news portal Detik reported.
SH’s brother, Muhyiddin Syamsuddin, told Detik his brother reported the injuries to him during a visit to the Gianyar Police station where he was being held on Thursday, Aug. 10. He said he saw bruises and other injuries, including burns to SH’s genitals allegedly caused by hot plastic,
“He was pressured to confess to muggings at 17 crime scenes. Because he lost his strength, he eventually confessed to two crime scenes,” Syamsuddin said at a press conference Monday, Aug. 14.
SH, who was questioned without a lawyer, was arrested Aug. 5 at his Denpasar home after police said a black Vespa motorbike caught on CCTV was identified as belonging to SH.
The suspect’s brother said the motorbike was similar but, as the license plate was obscured in the CCTV footage, not enough evidence to warrant arrest.
Investigations into the robberies and the alleged police brutality continue.