AsiaViews, Edition: 34/VII/November2010
Category: LEGAL WATCH
LOGO?S hands gripped the handle of the machete protruding out of his stomach. His right thumb was hanging off by a sliver of skin, while blood poured from the five stab wounds to his head. ?I crawled upstairs to get away,? recalled Logo Vallenberg, 38, from Timor, one of the partisans in a bloody fight between two gangs near Bumi Serpong Damai in Banten, last April. ?My guys gathered on the third floor,? he said.
That morning, Logo and eight of his men had been guarding the offices of the Bosar Jaya Cooperative at BSD City, Banten. They were hired by the cooperative?s owner, Burhanuddin Harahap, who, on the death of his father Baharudin Harahap, controlled dozens of cooperatives, some of them in Bandung, Semarang, Parung, Ciputat and Pamulang.
Baharudin, who died in 2008, left a huge estate, including eight legally incorporated cooperatives with branches in a number of cities. The East Jakarta Religious Court had confirmed Baharudin?s wife and four children as his heirs. However, an interfamilial conflict subsequently broke out when Masthahari, Baharudin?s younger brother, arrived on the scene to demand a share.
Masthahari needed muscle, so he turned to Umar Kei, 33, a youth from Kei, Maluku. In response, Burhanuddin sought protection from Alfredo Monteiro and Logo Vallenberg, both members of the Timor gang. These two gangs, Maluku vs. Timor, faced off that morning in BSD City.
The attack came shortly after dawn. Five men entered the offices of the Bosar Jaya Cooperative. ?We?re from the Mekar Jaya Cooperative, and we?re here to take over these offices,? announced Jamal, one of Umar?s lieutenants. Not long afterwards, Umar Kei himself appeared and brusquely told Logo and his men to leave. When they refused, Umar assembled his six carloads of cohorts?all armed with machetes and samurai swords?and ordered them to launch an all-out attack.
The assailants aimed at Logo, badly wounding him with their machetes and swords. ?My men weren?t even armed,? Logo said. The brawl did not last long as security officers from the shopping complex where the brawl took place quickly showed up. Logo found out recently that Umar had been working under the banner of the Red-and-White Warriors Legal Aid Institute. ?But during the attack, they claimed they were acting for the Mekar Jaya savings-and-loans cooperative.
Umar told Tempo he only wanted an amicable settlement from the outset. He said that he had politely asked Logo and his men to vacate the building since the family dispute was currently being handled by the courts. But after he refused, violence was inevitable. Prior to meeting Logo, Umar said he had already secured the withdrawal of Mobile Brigade officers, and members of the Banten gang, the Betawi Brotherhood Forum, and the Ongen Sangaji gang, all of whom had been hired by Burhanudin Harahap. ?They backed down after they saw us,? he said.
So, a family inheritance dispute led to blood being spilled on the streets in broad daylight.
BOTH Umar Kei and Alfredo Logo?s gangs provide ?security? services. Such ?security? services are also provided by other gangs, such as the Kembang Latar under Bahyudin, Petir under Alo Maumere, the Betawi Brotherhood Forum under Lutfi Hakim, the Banten Community Advancement Association under Dudung Sugriwa and the long-established Pancasila Youth.
The business consists of various ?sub-sectors,? such as debt collection, guarding disputed plots of land, vehicle parking, and providing security for nightlife venues and office complexes in the city. The latter business, office protection, is controlled by the 50-year-old Abraham Lunggana, a.k.a. Lulung. Having set up his company, PT Putraja Perkasa at the start of 2000, he quickly got involved in the parking and security businesses. According to Abraham, Putraja, which owns subsidiary company PT Sacom, employs some 4,000 people. ?We were even bigger before,? he said.
Lulung?s men control security in Blok F of the Tanah Abang Market and Central Jakarta, having rested it from Muhammad Yusuf Muhi, a.k.a. Bang Ucu Kambing, 62. Ucu had taken control of the Blok from East Timor?s Rosario Marshal, a.k.a. Hercules. Lulung?s operations also include the parking in a number of offices and other locations, including Fatmawati Hospital in South Jakarta.
The fierce competition between the gangs frequently leads to bloodshed. At the end of September, two gangs faced off in front of the South Jakarta District Court on Jalan Ampera. They were there to attend a court hearing on a bloody conflict in April between members of the Kei gang and security guards at Blowfish Kitchen and Bar Menara Mulia Building.
According to 42-year-old Agrafinus Rumatora, a member of the Kei gang, the Blowfish security officers were being held by the Flores Ende gang leader, Thalib Makarim. The Blowfish mayhem left two people dead: Kei gang members Yoppie Ingrat Tubun and M. Soleh dead. The South Jakarta District Court heard the charges against the alleged murderers of Yoppie and Soleh on the day of the Ampera riot, which in turn left three more youths dead, all from the Kei gang, and dozens of others badly injured. A bus driver for one of the gangs was also killed.
Gang leader John Kei?s right-hand man Daud Kei, 38, the ?deputy chairman? of the Kei Youth Force (AMKei), said that the dispute between the two gangs was serious. ?This isn?t between Kei and Flores, but between Maluku and Flores-Ende. Don?t report it the wrong way,? he said.
After the chaos on Ampera, Alfredo Monteiro and Logo were hauled in by the Police for questioning. Alfredo said that the police suspected he and Logo were working for Thalib Makarim. While admitting that he had once been Thalib?s man, Logo insisted that ?it was only for two months.? The Police subsequently arrested six suspects, all of them from the Flores Ende gang. ?How is it possible that not one member of the Kei gang was arrested?? asked an incredulous Zakaria ?Soap? Kleden, 66, a highly respected figure in ethnic circles.
KEEPING control of the ?muscle? business in the nation?s capital is never easy. During the 1990s, Jakarta was the fief of Hercules, who as a youth from Timor had been recruited into the Army Special Forces (Kopassus) when former Portuguese Timor was taken over by Indonesia. Injured in a helicopter accident, Hercules was taken to Jakarta by Gatot Purwanto, a Kopassus colonel who had been dishonorably discharged from the military due to his involvement in the Santa Cruz massacre.
Hercules found Jakarta very much to his liking and quickly gained control of the underworld in the lucrative Tanah Abang market area. Wherever he went, violence was never far away. But being a gangland overlord is an ephemeral thing, and Hercules was unable to hold on to the biggest market in Southeast Asia after his gang was roundly defeated by the Betawi gang under Bang Ucu Kambing, now 64.
While Hercules may now be impotent, his name is still legendary. A police officer said that every time a new National Police Chief is appointed, Hercules was always declared as the No. 1 target.
While Hercules was at the height of his power, Yorris Raweyai, a young man from Papua, was taking control of the debt-collection business through the Pancasila Youth, an organization the majority of whose members came from military families: Yorris, who became the leader of Pancasila Youth in 2000, also had a hankering for politics, and is now a Golkar Party member of the House of Representatives.
The Pancasila Youth also offered property-protection, debt-collection and security services, and receives orders from official companies related to the Pancasila Youth group. ?So, what are they supposed to do? They don?t have degrees,? Yorris said, referring to the organization?s members. On his label as a gangster, Yorris commented lightly: ?That?s something that needs correcting.?
A member of the same generation, Lulung, a former Tanah Abang strong man, is now a United Development Party (PPP) member of the Jakarta Legislative Assembly. Having started out collecting used cardboard boxes, he eventually became a ?security? provider in Tanah Abang.
To ensure he stayed at the top of his game, Lulung decided to go legitimate by setting up the P Putraja Perkasa company, which was followed by PT Tujuh Fajar Gemilang and PT Satu Komando Nusantara. These companies focus on Lulung?s ?core competencies?: protection, parking and debt collection. ?We get all our orders by bidding on official tenders,? he insisted.
In 1996, when Hercules found himself against Bang Ucu, Lulung decided to ?collaborate? with the Timor gang. Ending up on the losing side, he became public enemy No. 1 in the eyes of his Betawi brothers. However, Bang Ucu came to his rescue, and as a result Lulung now pays a regular ?tribute? to Ucu.
Legendary figure Zakaria ?Soap? Kleden came to Jakarta from East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) in 1961. Zaka, as he is better known, says he was the first Jakarta ?gangster? to come from NTT. ?The big outfits then were the Berland, Santana and Legos gangs,? he told Tempo.
Zaka?s modus Vivendi was no less bloody than those of his counterparts. He readily acknowledged that he often mutilated his victims. He claimed to have shot and killed a number of people. ?I was defending my dignity,? he said. He claimed he had never been convicted of a criminal offense. ?They used to arrest me all the time, but they never managed to pin anything on me,? said Zaka, who enjoys widespread respect in gangster circles, particularly among those from NTT. Three years ago, Zaka established a new security business, PT Sagas Putra Bangsa.
Zaka often dropped names of other gang leaders, such as Chris Berland, Ongky Pieter and Patrick Mustamu from Ambon, Matt Sanger from Manado, Jonni Sembiring from Sumatra, Pak Ukar and Rozali from Banten and Effendi Talo from Makassar. ?There was good communication between them so that blood was rarely spilled,? he recalled.
At the start of this decade, up-and-coming gangster Basri Sangaji appeared set for the big time. However, he died during a gang attack at the Hotel Kebayoran Inn, South Jakarta. His ?business? was taken over by his relatives, Ongen and Jamal. Ongen has since moved into politics, and is now chairman of the Hanura Party?s Jakarta Executive Board. ?My goal is to be elected chairman of the central board,? he told Tempo.
At the start of the 1980s, ethnic-based gangs also started to set up their own mass organizations. The trend started with the Prems, an abbreviation for Preman Sadar (Aware ), led by Edo Mempor. Of course, the principal focus continued to be on debt collection, parking and land disputes. ?But this marked the start of the move into mass organizations,? explained a former soldier who is now a gang member.
These gang-based organizations continue to exist and include the Kei Youth Force, Kembang Latar, Petir, the Betawi Brotherhood Forum, the Betawi Communications Forum (Forkabi), the Banten Community Advancement Association, and the Kei Youth Force.
AFTER the clash on Ampera, the name Thalib Makarim surfaced to the top. His rivals say he is in charge of security at a number of popular Jakarta nightclubs, including Blowfish, DragonFly, X2 and Vertigo. Thalib is actually a lawyer who represented the Zaskia Adya Mecca and Tasya Nur Medina sisters, who were kidnapped by Novan Andre Paul Neloe. He was also a member of Tomy Winata?s legal team when Tomy sued Tempo in 2005.
Thalib is officially recorded as an employee of the Victor B. Laiskodat & Associates law firm in Melawai, South Jakarta. However, when Tempo visited the firm?s office, he no longer worked there. ?He?s been gone for five years,? said Mie Gebu, an employee of the firm. A number of people who promised to put Tempo in touch with the elusive Thalib also failed to establish contact. In addition, Thalib has failed to answer a Police summons in connection with his suspected involvement in the Ampera clash.
A Tempo source in underworld circles said that Thalib had replaced Basri Sangaji, and now controlled elite nightspots in South Jakarta. ?This includes Blok M-Melawai,? the source said.
Meanwhile, John Kei?s gang, according to Agrafinus, one of his lieutenants, focuses on debt-collection and legal services, while shunning nightspot security, parking and land disputes. ?Those issues are beneath us,? he said. For the same reason, Daud Kei denied that the Blowfish and Ampera incidents were the result of business rivalry. ?The Maluku men don?t get involved in nightclub security,? he insisted.
However, according to one influential gang member, such bitter clashes normally occur when one gang is trying to move in on another?s territory. He said that big money was to be made from nightlife. ?Think about it. From tissues, snacks and drinks right up to drugs,? he said.
Unlike John Kei, Umar Kei is actively involved in the land-dispute business, which also provides a ready source of income for the Banten Community Advancement Association and the Betawi Brotherhood Forum. Meanwhile, on-street parking is controlled by local Betawi and Banten mass organizations, such as the case of Haji Lulung.
Of all businesses operated by Jakarta?s ethnic-based gangs, the Tempo source said that the most lucrative was the land-dispute business. ?The money you get will keep you going for a year,? he said, referring to the cut that goes to the gangs. In second place is nightclub security, which the source said was enough ?to keep you going for a month.? Meanwhile, he compared the money made from the parking business as ?enough to keep you going for a day.?
Given the big money at stake, not surprisingly the world of Jakarta gangs is characterized by bitter rivalry, violence and blood.
Jakarta?s gangs through the years
September 29, 2010
Bloody clash erupts between Maluku (Kei) and Flores (Thalib Makarim) gangs on Jalan Ampera as the South Jakarta District Court hears charges on the Blowfish incident. Two Maluku gang members were killed?Frederik Philo Let Let, 29, and Agustinus Tomas, 49, as well as a Kopaja bus driver, Syaifudin, 48.
July 31, 2010
Clash between Betawi Brotherhood Forum (FBR) and Pancasila Youth, Betawi Communications Forum (Forkabi) and the Poor People?s Development Communications Forum (Kembang Latar) in Rempoa, Ciputat.
May 30, 2010
Clash between Forkabi and Madurese in Duri Kosambi, Cengkereng. Forkabi leader Cipondoh Endid Mawardi was stabbed to death.
April 12, 2010
Bosar Jaya Cooperative security chief Logo Vallenberg badly injured in a clash with Umar Kei?s gang. The clash was the result of a family inheritance dispute.
April 4, 2010
Brawl at Blowfish Club, Wisma Mulia, Jakarta, leaves M. Sholeh and Yoppie Ingrat Tubun, both members of the Kei gang, dead.
December 14, 2009
Former PT Maritim Timur Jaya employee Susandi, a.k.a. Aan, is beaten and kicked on the head and chest by Victor Laiskodat, head of the Artha Graha Group.
August 11, 2008
Jhon Kei, an Ambonese youth, is arrested by antiterrorist police from the Maluku Detachment 88 unit in Ohoijang, Tual. He was strongly believed to have been involved in torturing two Tual residents, Charles Refra and Remi Refra, both of whom had fingers severed.
June 1, 2008
Attack by the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) on the National Alliance for Freedom of Religion and Faith. National Police charged five FPI members as suspects in the beating of alliance members.
April 27, 2006
Hundreds of FBR members surround the home of entertainer Inul Daratista demanding that she apologize for her involvement in a demonstration at the Hotel Indonesia roundabout against the anti-pornography bill, which has since been passed into law.
February 3, 2006
Enraged by the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad by Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, FPI members run amok in front of the Danish Embassy in Menara Rajawali.
December 19, 2005
Hercules and 17 of his men attack the offices of Indopos, West Jakarta, following its publication of an article titled ?Reform of a Tanah Abang Thug, Hercules Goes Straight.? For his efforts, Hercules was sentenced to 2 months in jail.
June 18, 2005
The Maluku gang goes on a rampage and trashes the sales office of the Taman Permata Buana housing development in West Jakarata. They admitted they work for Aminah binti Ilyas, who was in dispute with the developer over the ownership of the land.
June 8, 2005
A fight erupts between members of the Basri Sangadji and Jhon Kei gangs during a court hearing and turns into an aggravated assault at the Stadium Discoth?que in West Jakarta. Jhon Kei?s brother, Walterus Refra Kei, a.k.a. Semmy Kei, is murdered in the West Jakarta District Court?s parking lot in retaliation for the murder of Basri Sangaji and the bashing at Stadium Discotheque.
May 29, 2005
The Banten Swordsmen?s Association clashes with Forkabri. Jahuri, 44, a resident of Cilampang, is killed during the mayhem. His body was later found at the Buana Permata housing development?s multi-purpose building. The disturbances were triggered by a land dispute.
March 1, 2005
Hundreds of men armed with swords, spears, machetes and sickles face off in front of the South Jakarta District Court on Jalan Ampera, South Jakarta, during a hearing on the murder of Basri Sangaji.
February 10, 2005
Clash between Jakarta Public Order officers and members of the Hercules gang who were guarding a plot of vacant land at Blok 10-I, Kaveling 5-7 on Jalan H.R. Rasuna Said, South Jakarta. Hercules?s younger brother, Albert Nego Kaseh, a.k.a. John Albert, was shot dead by Chrisman Siregar, the chief of the Jakarta Public Order Agency?s operations unit.
October 12, 2004
Basri Sangaji is brutally murdered in room 301 of the Hotel Kebayoran Inn, South Jakarta, during an attack by assailants from Jhon Kei?s gang.
March 2, 2004
A Clash between members of the Basri Sangaji and Jhon Kei gangs at Stadium Discotheque in Taman Sari, West Jakarta. Basri men were providing security at Stadium when they were attacked by dozens of Kei men. Two security guards from the Basri gang were killed.
May 7, 2003
Chaos erupts between members of the Hercules and Basri Sangaji gangs in Kemang, South Jakarta. Samsi Tuasah died as a result of gunshot wounds to the leg and chest.
March 8, 2003
David A. Miauw and his cohorts, all working for Tomy Winata, attacked the Tempo/i> offices and assaulted three Tempo journalists. Tomy was angered by an article titled ?Is Tomy in Tenabang?, which appeared in the Monday, March 3 edition of the magazine. Charges were brought against the assailants.
March 28, 2002
Seven FBR members assault members of the Urban Poor Consortium, led by Wardah Hafidz, at the National Human Rights Commission offices in Menteng, Jakarta.
December 15, 1998 and January 15, 1999
Clashes between Ambonese Muslims and Christians are sparked by the Ketapang incident. The disturbances in Jakarta are believed to have been linked to gangland activities.
November 22-23, 1998
Clashes between Ambonese Muslims and Christians erupt in Ketapang, Central Jakarta. The ostensible cause of the incident was the killing of four young Muslims during the Semanggi disturbances in the run-up to a Special Session of the People?s Consultative Assembly (MPR).
May 29, 1997
Dedy Hamdun, a Muslim gang member from Ambon, is kidnapped and believed to be dead. His body has never been found. The husband of entertainer Eva Arnaz, Dedy worked in ?land acquisition? for a real-estate business owned by Ibnu Hartomo, a brother-in-law of former President Suharto. Prior to his disappearance, Dedy was actively involved in the United Development Party (PPP).
War erupts between the Betawi gang and the Timor gang led by Hercules. The Timorese are unceremoniously evicted from Tanah Abang.
July 29, 2001
FBR is set up by the late KH Fadloli el-Muhir. It quickly gained an estimated membership of some 400,000.
April 18, 2001
Forkabri is formally established at Kramat Sentiong, Central Jakarta.
October 19, 2000
The Red-and-White Warriors is formed by the late Eddy Hartawan. The group provided security for Manohara Odelia Pinot.
The Kei Youth Force is established by the Kei family under the leadership of Jhon Refra, or Jhon Kei. The organization was set up in the wake of the disturbances in Tual, Maluku, in March 1999. The group now claims to have 12,000 followers.
August 17, 1998
FPI is formally established by Muhammad Rizieq bin Husein Syihab on Jalan Petamburan III No. 83, Central Jakarta. The establishment of the group was actively backed by a number of military and police generals, including a former Jakarta Metropolitan Police commander, Commissioner General Nugroho Jayusman.
Betawi residents of Tanah Abang set up the Tanah Abang Community association and elect Tanah Abang community leader, Muhammad Yusuf Muhi, a.k.a. Bang Ucu Kambing, as leader, a position he still holds today.
New Order Period
A large number of ?youth organizations? spring up, such as Pancasila Youth, Panca Marga Youth, the Children of Retired Servicemen?s Communications Forum, the Human Development Forum, and, more recently, Kembang Latar. A number of gangs emerged, such as Siliwangi, Berland, Santana and Legos, which controlled nightspots, land and parking security services in South Jakarta.
Petrus is the Indonesian acronym for ?mysterious killings,? a secret operation involving the assassination of gang members. An investigation by the Commission for Missing Persons & Victims of Violence found that the operation claimed 532 lives in 1983 and about 181 people throughout 1984 and 1985.
Tempo No. 13/XI/24-30 November 2010