Airport police announced Tuesday they had arrested several members of gangs involved in stealing passengers' luggage from the airport parking lot and Damri shuttle buses.
Head of police at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Sr. Comr. Guntur Setyanto, said one of the gangs, known as the Sunda Indramayu group, targeted laptops carried by Damri passengers.
"We arrested two members ... they said they operated from Terminal 1 and took the shuttle bus to Gambir station or Blok M bus terminal pretending to be passengers.
"Fixing on their target, one of them switched the target's laptop bag with a similar bag that they had prepared," he said.
Guntur said four members of another theft gang operating at the airport, the Palembang Cengkareng group, had also been arrested.
He said all four suspected resisted arrest, forcing officers to shoot them in the legs.
He said the suspects targeted luggage in the parked cars of airport visitors or passengers, usually striking when the victims were praying in the airport's musholla.
"They usually stole valuables from parked cars," Guntur said, adding that the police confiscated from the suspects a Toshiba laptop, portable DVD player and a Handycam they stole from a Daihatsu Taruna jeep, and an ACER laptop from a Suzuki Sidekick jeep.
Police also arrested a suspected member of the Palembang Bekasi Timur luggage theft gang, Guntur said.
"The suspects will be charged with violating Article 363 of the Criminal Code on theft, which carries a maximum punishment of five years in jail," he said.
In a separate case, airport police officers arrested the driver of a Manuk Mira taxi who forced a passenger to pay Rp 200,000 (US$23) for a short trip after refusing to use the taxi's meter.
Police also rounded up 12 illegal foreign exchange traders and eight airplane ticket scalpers between April 9 and 24.
"The illegal traders were carrying Rp 89 million in 19 currencies, including U.S. dollar, real, baht, rupee, ringgit, won, pound and yuan," Guntur said.
The police, he said, also confiscated Rp 37 million from the ticket scalpers.
"The 20 people violated Tangerang municipality's bylaw on public order so we handed the cases over to the public order agency." -The Jakarta Post, ANN