Indonesian schoolgirls implicated in prostitution

Indonesian schoolgirls implicated in prostitution

The Depok Police are cooperating with the Jakarta Police to investigate a prostitution case implicating two vocational high school students in Depok, West Java.

Jakarta Police spokesperson senior comr. Martinus Sitompul said the case surfaced when the father of one of the girls approached Depok Police on January 10, claiming that his daughter had worked as a prostitute.

"The father was shocked to find out about his daughter's 'job' and wanted to deter her by bringing her to the police," Martinus told reporters on Wednesday.

According to the father, the girl was hired to work in a hotel in Lenteng Agung, South Jakarta, as a waitress.

However, the hotel's customer could "book" her at a cost of 500,000 rupiah (S$52), 300,000 rupiah of which would be given to the girl, while her female pimp would take the remaining 200,000 rupiah.

Martinus said regular sexual transactions between the girl and her clients took place at a low-cost hotel in Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta.

The father initially told the police that his daughter was forced by her schoolmate to work at the hotel, but further investigation and questioning session revealed that the schoolmate was also a child prostitute who had introduced the girl to the pimp.

Martinus said the father refused to file an official police report and claimed that he did not want to take further action other than teaching his daughter a lesson.

"The police told him to file a police report, but he refused to do so. Therefore, we made a report ourselves in order to investigate the case," Martinus said.

He said police were pursuing a pimp who allegedly arranged the sexual transactions for the underage girls, adding that police would charge the pimp under Article 88 of Law No. 35/2014 on revision of Law No. 23/2003 on child protection carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

According to the girl's testimony, she worked at the hotel for more that six months.

"I spent the money [I earned] on clothes, snacks and leisure. When I had a lot of money, I could buy a new smartphone. My parents couldn't afford to buy me one," she said at the Depok Police as quoted by on Monday.

Depok Police's child and woman protection unit head First Insp. Elly Padiansari said it was highly possible that other young girls were victims of similar schemes in Depok.

"It is likely that there are more girls [in similar cases] out there, with economic factors as the main reason. Furthermore, teenagers are easily tempted by luxuries nowadays," Elly said on Sunday, adding that lack of attention from parents could serve as another cause of child prostitution.

She said the Depok city police would coordinate with the city's Education Agency and Community and Empowerment Body (BPMK) to raise students' awareness of the dangers of the prostitution business.

Located south of Jakarta, Depok is one of the capital's most populous satellite municipalities. Based on 2012 data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), Depok is home to almost 1.9 million residents.

Despite being famous for religious tourism and its abundant housing complexes offering Islamic community in various guises, Depok still struggles with prostitution.

Last year, the city's Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) raided a number of areas alongside the railway, targeting sexual transactions involving street children.

In 2012, the Jakarta Police discovered an online prostitution business that offered, via Facebook, the sexual services of a number of schoolchildren in Depok and Cibinong, Bogor.

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