Homecoming Ban, Police Caught 8,709 Vehicles

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Mahinda Arkyasa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Traffic Director of Metro Jaya Police Sr. Comr. Sambodo Purnomo Yogo said the Police has turnover 8,709 vehicles in relation to the implementation of the homecoming ban from April 42 to May 1, 2020. The offenders were caught violating in three checkpoints: West Cikarang, Bitung, and thoroughfares.

    Based on data collected by the Metro Jaya Police, as many as 2,339 private vehicles and 1,401 public transport were forced to turn around to their original point of departure at the West Cikarang checkpoint.

    Meanwhile, at the Bitung checkpoint, the police instructed 1,713 private vehicles and 1,138 public transport to return to the Jabodetabek area. As for the checkpoints along main thoroughfares, the police instructed 701 private vehicles and 549 public transport to turn around, along with 868 motorcycles.

    Various tricks were employed by determined homecomers to elude officers in the field. On Friday evening, May 1, 2020, the Metro Jaya Police Traffic Directorate caught 15 illegal travel providers attempting to smuggle 113 homecomers to West Java, Central Java, and East Java.

    According to Sambodo, the passengers were charged with various tariffs, starting from IDR 300,000 to IDR 500,000. He added that illegal travel providers promote their service on social media platforms such as Facebook, and messaging applications such as WhatsApp. The police later fined the drivers and confiscate the vehicles.

    Similar attempts were foiled on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. At that time, the Police secured two vehicles owned by illegal travel service providers who attempted to smuggle homecomers. The violators were caught as they travel through Kedung Waringin, Bekasi. Officers on duty pull the vehicle over the road and examine the vehicles. "From the two vehicles, there are eight passengers, not including the drivers. One [vehicle] has six [people], another has four [passengers]," Sambodo said.

    When asked, the passengers admitted that they have paid IDR 300,000 to IDR 500,000 to illegal travel providers. They were promised to be able to go past the checkpoints and return to their hometown in central java.

    Furthermore, Sambodo added that the violators use a private license plate to trick the officers and attached stickers of a certain institution to scare off officers.

    On Wednesday, April 29, 2020, the Police caught six homecomers hiding inside a bus at the Kedung Waring checkpoint in Bekasi. The drive of the bus attempted to hide the passengers by turning off the bus' indoor lights. The police also find passengers hiding in the bus' toilet.

    Sambodo said that the passengers reclined their seat backward to avoid being seen by the officers. However, the plan failed after officers search inside of the bus. According to their testimony, the passengers paid IDR 250,000 to the bus driver. The Police later recorded the identity of the homecomers and instructed the bus driver to turn around and not continue the trip.

    Chief of Public Relations of the Metro Jaya Police Sr. Comr. Yusri Yunus said that the Police has conducted cyber patrol to anticipate illegal travel providers attempting to smuggle homecomers. He added that the perpetrator can be charged with violations of the Information and Electronic Transaction Law.

    Chief of the Traffic Corps Insp. Gen. Istiono said that he already had personnel deployed to monitor any alternative routes in every border areas around Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi during the implementation of the homecoming ban. Istiono asserted that homecomers has little chance to slip by the checkpoints.

    "The percentage is small. There has been many [homecomers] that have been turned around at the border of West Java and Central Java," Istiono said.

    ADAM PRIREZA | TEMPO.CO