Three arrested for cement scam

Three arrested for cement scam
Published: 26 March 2004

Indonesia: The Bogor Police have arrested three men on suspicions of selling bulk, low-quality cement packed in original sacks marked with the logos of major cement makers Tiga Roda and Kujang.  Yulianto Soleh, alias Yanto, 34, Lim Lian Kuang, 30, and Herri Gouw, 36, were arrested in an operation from March 19 to March 22 across Bogor regency and Bogor municipality. Yulianto was arrested in Sukahati village, Cibinong district, Bogor regency; Lim in Yasmin Semplak, West Bogor district, Bogor city; and Herri on Jl. Baru, Tanah Sareal district, Bogor city.  Police seized a cement truck, two pick-ups, a sewing machine, 400 used empty cement sacks and bulk cement packed in 1,446 Tiga Roda and 530 Kujang sacks.  Bogor Police deputy chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Alfons Toluhula told a press conference on Wednesday that the suspects were apprehended after a three-week investigation into a complaint from cement producer PT Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa Tbk, producer of Tiga Roda cement.

According to Alfons, the suspects told investigators that they bought bulk cement from PT Semen Padang for Rp 18,000 (US$2) to Rp 20,000 per sack. The material was packed into the used, original sacks bearing the Tiga Roda and Kujang logos, which they bought for Rp 1,500 each, and sold for Rp 26,000 per sack.  "Besides arresting the suspects, we also raided two stores selling counterfeit cement and confiscated 199 sacks from them," he said.  The suspects had access to the bulk cement because they run a legitimate business in producing roof tiles and paving brick.  PT Indocement Legal and Public Affairs manager Alexander Frans said the company did not suffer material losses, but the crime had hurt the company’s image.  Alexander said distributors and stores had filed complaints with Indocement, believing that the company had hiked prices, and could lead to losing customer trust because they could buy cement in the same packaging but for a lower price at stores selling counterfeit cement.  The original, high-quality cement from Tiga Roda and Kujang can last 30 days from the time the sack is opened before it hardens from exposure, while bulk, low-quality cement lasts only a week. He concluded.