JAKARTA - Tjong Kui Ing, 62, a resident of the Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK) housing complex in North Jakarta, lost jewelry worth 250 million rupiah (S$25,000) after apparently being hypnotized by a group of people, who had claimed to be able to dispel her impending bad fortune.
Jakarta Police General Crime Directorate chief Sr. Comr. Krishna Murti said on Thursday that the incident began when one of the four gang members asked the victim for the address of a nearby drug store as she was waiting for a public minivan in Penjaringan, North Jakarta.
"As the victim did not know the address, she [the victim] asked another person who was probably part of the group," he said, as quoted by tribunnews.com.
According to Krishna the gang members engaged Tjong in conversation and told her that they had herbal medicine from the US. As Tjong appeared interested, they called their friends and met in a car.
"When the victim was in the car, one of the perpetrators predicted that Tjong would have bad fortune and that one of her children would die," he said.
He said Tjong became terrified and begged them to dispel her bad fortune. Tjong then took jewelry from her home and put it in a black plastic bag as required by the gang.
They exchanged black plastic bags with Tjong and told her not to open the plastic bag for three days.
"When she returned home and regained her senses, she opened the bag to find two bottles of mineral water and a packet of salt in the bag," Krishna said.
Krishna said four suspects, identified as Acuan a Chinese citizen, Melissa, Jenna and Erna had already been detained in West Jakarta.
The police also seized 20 million rupiah in cash, a car, two mineral water bottles and a packet of salt as evidence.