Police claim billions lost to phone credit thieves: Indonesia

Phone credit thieves are making away with billions and billions of rupiah, the police say.

"Take Mama Lauren's product as an example. If you want a soul mate, you send a request by typing reg: Mama to a certain number. From that product service alone, [operators] can reap hundreds of billion rupiah," National Police chief Comr. Gen. Sutarman said as quoted by tribunnews.com on Thursday.

Sutarman, speaking at the release of Attorney General's Office's 2011 annual report in Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta, railed against shady operators.

"The operators make it easy for customers to register, but make it difficult to unregister," Sutarman said. "This is not to mention other product services, like ring tones."

The Jakarta Police previously questioned two senior executives of the content provider company Colibri Network about a cell phone credit theft complaint filed by Feri Kuntoro Colibri Network and MediaPlay offer premium SMS services to Telkomsel customers.

According to Feri, he received a text message offering him a prize if he replied.

He could not "unregister" from the service after replying, and the messages that he received cost him Rp 450,000 (S$63).

So far the police have named three suspects in the case, namely a Telkomsel vice president identified as KP and two senior executives of Colibri Network and Media Play.

The suspects were charged with violating the Consumer Protection Law, the Information and Electronic Transactions Law and the Criminal Code.

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