"According to the information, the 22 foreign nationals have been arrested for alleged involvement in a swindle and extortion network using the Internet," spokesman for the Riau Islands Provincial Police, Adj. Senr. Comr. Helmi, said.
It took police a short time to arrest the suspects, drawing the attention of local residents.
"We have information that many Indonesians have fallen victim to the crime. But we dont know their exact number, because the data is kept at the Indonesian Police Headquarters," he said.
He noted that officers from the information technology and cyber crime sub-directorate at the Indonesian Police Headquarters, who had traced their whereabouts, found that the foreign nationals frequently moved locations.
According to the latest information, the 22 foreign nationals were in Batam. "But to be sure, let us await clarification from the criminal detective directorate (Bareskrim) at the Police Headquarters," he said.
After the 22 foreign nationals were arrested, at about 01.30 p.m., they were taken to Hang Nadim International Airport on bus to be flown to Jakarta for questioning.
(s012/ INE )
Reporting by Larno