Police Arrest Fifth Suspect in Probe Into Online Hate Crime Syndicate

National Police spokesman Setyo Wasisto. (Antara Photo/Reno Esnir)

By : Farouk Arnaz | on 5:42 PM September 11, 2017
Category : News, Crime

Jakarta. Police have arrested a woman accused of funding an online syndicate suspected of propagating hate speech based on ethnicity and religion, a spokesman said on Monday (11/09).

The woman was the fifth suspect in the case against the group, which calls itself Saracen and which has been operating several websites and Facebook accounts involved in the spread of hatred and so-called fake news.

The woman, identified as Asma Dewi, a housewife, was arrested in South Jakarta on Friday for propagating hate speech on social media. However, officers later learned that she allegedly transferred around Rp 75 million ($5,700) to the syndicate.

National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Setyo Wasisto said they are still investigating the exact purpose of the funds, as well as identifying more members of the syndicate.

"She has her own [Facebook] account, while also cooperating with Saracen," Setyo told reporters at his office in South Jakarta.

Police arrested four suspected members of the syndicate in several parts of the country between mid-July and late August. All of them are accused of having administered Facebook accounts involved in propagating hate speech.

The Facebook accounts have attracted more than 800,000 followers since being set up in November last year, police said.

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