Indonesia Police Bust Facebook Prostitution Ring
Asting operation by the Jakarta police’s cyber crimes unit has netted a 19-year-old woman who police allege was running an underage prostitution racket via social media Web site Facebook.
The woman, identified only as M, was arrested along with seven others in a hotel room in South Jakarta on Wednesday after police masquerading as potential clients arranged a meeting via telephone.
“The suspect was prostituting teenaged girls via Facebook,” cyber crimes unit head Audie S. Latuheru said on Thursday.
Police said they arranged the sting after receiving a tip-off. They asked M. to bring six girls to the hotel.
Pictures of the girls allegedly on offer were placed on Facebook along with M.’s phone number, Audie said.
The girls’ sexual services were to be charged out at between Rp 800,000 to Rp 1.5 million ($89 to $167), he said.
“Then she as the pimp asked for a fee of Rp 200,000 from every girl who received an order for sex.”
An investigator from the cyber crimes unit, M. Kuderi, said the girls had been coaxed into the endeavor by the main suspect.
Kuderi said M. told police during questioning that she had contacted potential girls via SMS. She allegedly targeted children living in Greater Jakarta’s impoverished outer suburbs, on the basis they would be more easily tempted by cash.
“They were still students, aged around 16 to 17 years, from the Cibinong and Depok areas,” he said. “The children were invited to meet at a mall, then they were persuaded to take part.”
M., who is married and has a child, faces charges under the criminal code and the 2002 child protection law.
This is the third arrest announced by the cyber crimes unit this week. On Tuesday, it arrested a man who attempted to extort $55,000 after hacking into someone’s e-mail account, and on Wednesday it announced a US citizen had been arrested for allegedly delivering threats to his ex-wife via e-mail.