Indonesian police have arrested six suspects believed to be linked with a plan to assassinate four state officials and a prominent pollster as part of a broader plot to sow unrest ahead of last week’s Jakarta riots that left eight people dead.
Five men and one woman had been detained on suspicion of accepting payments to carry out contract killings or supplying weapons, according to Indonesian police spokesman Muhammad Iqbal.
“The leader of the team received 150 million rupiah (S$14,400), while another suspect received 25 million from one person,” Iqbal said on Monday, declining to disclose the names of the targets.
Iqbal said police also knew the identity of the person who ordered the assassination attempts, which had been set up in March and April. Several parts of the Indonesian capital had been photographed and mapped out for the plots, he added.
“But Allah still loves this country, and we were given a way to uncover this,” Iqbal said.
The ringleader of the plan, referred to by police only as HS, had bought four firearms which he distributed to three other suspects, according to Iqbal. HS and three others are accused of carrying out the attempted killings, while the remaining two suspects are thought to have supplied the weapons.
All have been charged under a 1951 emergency law covering the possession and delivery of illegal firearms. They could face life imprisonment if convicted.
Last week, Jakarta was rocked by riots triggered by mass protests against the re-election of incumbent President Joko Widodo, who triumphed over rival Prabowo Subianto after securing 55.5 per cent of the vote.