The Tanah Abang Police have arrested a suspect identified as Herman, also known as Buyung, for allegedly kidnapping a 5-year-old girl, PA, in Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta, and forcing her to work as a beggar in West Sumatra.
Herman was reported to the police by a resident of Gerbang Dermaga in West Sumatra, who became suspicious of his and PA’s relationship, according to Tanah Abang Police chief Sr. Adj. Comr. Lukman Cahyono.
“A local resident suspected that the girl had been kidnapped when she called Herman ‘uncle’. The resident then reported it to the Pariaman Police,” Lukman said as quoted by Warta Kota on Monday.
Priaman Police investigators concluded they were indeed faced with a kidnapping case after Herman and PA gave inconsistent answers to their questions.
They learned of a missing child who matched PA’s description though the National Police database and worked with their Tanah Abang counterparts to return the girl and hand over custody of Herman.
“PA was reported missing on July 11,” Lukman said, adding that PA and Herman had returned to Jakarta on Sunday.
According to Herman’s statement, Lukman said, Herman had kidnapped PA from her grandmother on July 11 by offering her an ice cream. PA’s grandmother reportedly trusted Herman because they lived in the same residential area.
“He then took PA to Merak Port [in Banten] and they travelled to Bakauheni Port [in Lampung],” he said.
Herman allegedly instructed PA to beg for money from passersby as they made their way from Lampung to West Sumatra.
Herman will be charged under Article 83 in the Child Protection Law, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and between Rp 60 million (US$4,000) and Rp 300 million in fines.