The suspect was arrested in Sragen District, Central Java Province, Director of Cyber Crime at the National Police`s Criminal Investigation Department Brig. Gen. Rachman Wibowo informed journalists here on Wednesday, Jan 9.
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 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.
After spreading the hoax, BBP then discarded his smartphone and SIM card in the Sragen District area, Central Java, but the police were able to seize these two pieces of evidence on Jan 7, he stated.
Police investigators accused the suspect of intentionally creating and spreading the fake news content; attempting to delete the content after going viral; and leaving his house until he was found in Sragen District, Central Java, he noted.
The proliferation of fake news, hate speeches, and slander has obviously become a serious problem prior to this year`s parliamentary and presidential elections.
The latest case of fake news related to the upcoming presidential election that triggered concerns among the authorities and public was related to seven containers, with 10 million marked ballots from China.
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-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.
KPU Chairman Arief Budiman emphasized the need to arrest those spreading the hoaxes, adding that they are criminals intending to disrupt and delegitimize the convening of this year`s parliamentary and presidential elections.
Speaking in connection with the proliferation of this fake news, House of Representatives` Speaker Bambang Soesatyo urged the police to investigate the case thoroughly, as he believed that it was aimed at destabilizing Indonesia
Reporting by Dyah Dwi Astuti, Rahmad Nasution
Editing by Fardah