REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- The Indonesian police determined to uncover the mastermind of fake news on seven containers from China containing millions of marked ballots. A thorough investigation into the case is being underway, the National Police spokesman, Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said.
"We have thoroughly been examining the persons who may have been the masterminds," Dedi told journalists here on Wednesday when questioned about the preliminary outcomes of investigation into the case.
In uncovering the real figures, who had masterminded the creation and proliferation of this fake news, the police investigators need to track the digital and communication footprints of those allegedly involved in the case, he stated. The suspect, identified by his initials as BBP, discarded his smartphone and SIM card in Sragen District area, Central Java Province, after spreading the hoax.
But, the police were able to seize these two pieces of evidence on Jan 7, he noted. Before arresting BBP and naming him as a suspect, the police investigators had conducted a thorough analysis and collected convincing evidence from the suspect's recorded voice containing his claim on the marked ballots.
Meanwhile, Director of Cyber Crime at the National Police's Criminal Investigation Department Brig. Gen. Rachman Wibowo remarked earlier that BBP was arrested for allegedly creating and spreading fake news on the 10 million marked ballots. Following BBP's arrest, the national police have, so far, lined up four suspects.
Three others, also only identified by their initials, comprise HY, who was arrested in Bogor, West Java; LS, who was apprehended in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan; and J, from Brebes, Central Java, he stated. Police investigators were able to arrest BBP after successfully detecting his recorded voice that he had circulated through several social media platforms and messenger applications, Wibowo revealed.
The modus operandi used by the suspect involved recording and proliferating his voice to convince various social media platforms' users, who heard his fake news on the marked ballots. Police investigators accused the suspect of intentionally creating and spreading the fake news content, attempting to delete the content after it went viral, leaving his house until he was found in Sragen District, Central Java.
On Wednesday (Jan 2), a rumor, circulated through social media platforms, claimed that seven containers from China, with millions of ballots that had been cast in favor of the Joko Widodo-KH Ma'ruf Amin pair, had arrived at Jakarta's Tanjung Priok Port. In response to this rumor, which was later proven to be fake, authorized persons from the KPU and the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) directly checked the reported containers on Wednesday evening.
The KPU commissioners confirmed that the rumor was untrue, and it was categorized as fake news. They also urged the police's cyber crime unit personnel to track and arrest those who had spread the fake news.