A resident of Kalijodo takes a photo on Feb. 14 of a circular issued by the North Jakarta local administration informing residents that the district will be turned into an open green space (RTH). Official letters to affected residents were sent ordering residents to dismantle and leave their homes within a week to avoid forced evictions. (Antara Photo/Muhammad Adimaja)

Kalijodo Protester Charged With Prostitution, Human Trafficking

BY :JAKARTA GLOBE

FEBRUARY 22, 2016

Jakarta. Jakarta Police charged a local businessman who has been leading a protest against the city's plan to demolish the capital's red-light district with prostitution and human trafficking on Monday (22/02).

Jakarta Police head of general crimes Sr. Comr. Krishna Murti said that Abdul Aziz, better known as Daeng Aziz has been charged with trafficking dozens of women from West Java as sex workers in the in Kalijodo area of North and West Jakarta, notorious for prostitution, alcohol abuse and gambling.

"He is suspected of pimping out prostitutes in Kalijodo. We have named him as a suspect for prostitution,” the officer said, as quoted by Detik.com.

Aziz is believed to control 1,847 square meters of land in Kalijodo and owns several bars and cafes which serve as fronts for prostitution dens.

Krishna said police will summon Aziz to appear for questioning on Wednesday saying, “I have signed the summoning letter.”

The Jakarta administration has been planning to transform Kalijodo into an open green space, or RTH, for years. The plan resurfaced after reports that a driver, who had caused a fatal crash in the early hours of Feb. 8 on Jalan Daan Mogot, West Jakarta, had been consuming alcohol at a cafe in the area.

Aziz had allegedly been threatening residents not to sign up for relocation to low-cost apartments as offered by the Jakarta city government, according to the Penjaringan subdistrict officials assigned to help the people with the apartment registration process. The officials also said that many have initially signed up but later canceled due to the alleged threats.

The Jakarta provincial government on Thursday also started to distribute copies of the first official eviction notices, giving residents seven days to vacate the area. If they fail to do so, the government will issue second and third eviction notices before moving in to tear down the houses by Feb. 29, as scheduled. This plan would affect the 1,340 families, or 3,052 residents, occupying the area.

In 2002, Daeng Azis made headlines following a violent dispute with a rival group under the leadership of Yusman Nur, who also ran a gambling and prostitution ring in the area. The incident spurred the Jakarta government to demolish Kalijodo, but business quickly returned.

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