Bareskrim forms a special unit to investigate quarantine violations

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Dedi Prasetyo
Public Relations Division Head of the National Police Inspector General Dedi Prasetyo. Photo: DOC. PR INDONESIA

IO – The Directorate of Special Economic Crimes of the Criminal Investigation Division (Bareskrim) of the Indonesian National Police (Polri) has formed a special unit to investigate allegations of health quarantine violations. 

Polri’s Public Relations Division Head Inspector General Dedi Prasetyo said he would not hesitate about taking strict measures against international travelers who violate the quarantine law. This measure is in accordance with the directive of the National Police Chief, General Listyo Sigit Prabowo, following up on President Joko Widodo’s instructions. 

“The team has been working (hard). It has been communicating, coordinating and verifying with many parties, from immigration, health quarantine services, the COVID-19 task force, airport administrators and staff to officers at the airport, up to the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), the body that manages hotel services for foreigners and Indonesian citizens who are in quarantine,” said Dedi, Saturday (2/5/2022). 

The Special Economic Crimes Directorate has conducted investigations at 12 quarantine locations. The objective is to prevent and guarantee that there would not be any “quarantine tricks” on international travelers. “The team investigated 12 repatriation hotels totaling 300 Indonesian citizens and 412 foreigners,” he explained. 

Further investigation and verification are now being conducted to collect evidence regarding possible violations. Should a criminal offense be found, the police will name a suspect. 

Those who violate the health quarantine law are punishable by a term of imprisonment or a fine amounting to hundreds of millions of rupiah. “Various regulations are violated: Article 14 of Law No. 4/1984 on infectious disease outbreaks and Article 93 of Law No. 6/2018 on quarantine. That would be one-year imprisonment and a fine of IDR 100 million,” Dedi explained. 

If the police find any indications of bribery in the quarantine violation process, investigators could use the Law on Criminal Act of Corruption articles, whose punishment will be much more severe than the Health Quarantine Law. 

Inspector General Dedi stated that strict measures are necessary to prevent quarantine violations. “If you see any quarantine violations, please report it to the nearest police. There will be severe consequences,” he said. 

He elaborated that some quarantine violation cases occurred because there are void periods, from when the travelers leave the aircraft to Immigration. “There are some blank areas that make quarantine violations possible. There’s a transaction where foreigners and Indonesian citizens who should be quarantined in designated locations fail to comply,” Dedi said. 

To minimize this, Polri has implemented a “Precision Quarantine Monitoring” application to observe the health quarantine process. The application monitors foreigners and Indonesian citizens entering Indonesia from arrival to quarantine locations. 

Some arrival points in Indonesia, namely airports, ports and cross-border posts, have already begun using the application. He believed the results were fairly effective in monitoring foreigners and Indonesian citizens in quarantine. 

However, collaboration from other stakeholders, such as the COVID-19 Task Force and the National Armed Forces, is needed to implement conventional supervision. (eka)