Police Raid Fake UN Office in Aceh

Banda Aceh, TAG. Police in Aceh have arrested a man who is believed to have conducted fraudulent activities in the province in the UN’s name.

Aceh Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Farid Ahmad Soleh said on Monday that the suspect, identified as Marzuki Abdullah, 36, claimed that he was the deputy chief at the Aceh headquarters of the UN Security Council. 

The officer said Marzuki was suspected of using the Security Council’s name to conduct fraudulent activities in Banda Aceh, the provincial capital.

Organizations linked to the UN have conducted humanitarian activities in Aceh following the 2004 tsunami, which claimed 170,000 lives in the resource-rich province. 

“The suspect is part of a group that conducts fraud by demanding money from victims of the tsunami, as much as Rp 1.5 million [$165], if they want to become civil servants,” Farid said, adding that the leader of the group claims to have a special relationship with overseas organizations and the State Secretariat in Jakarta. 

“We are hunting down the leader of this group. The suspect’s name is Nurdin Jalil,” Farid said.

Police arrested Marzuki during a raid at a house in Blower village, Banda Aceh, on Sunday.

Documents, several computers and 156 flags belonging to member countries of the UN were seized from the house during the raid. Police said members of the group used the house as an office.

“Those working at the house were provided with ID cards with the UN Security Council logo emblazoned on them,” Farid said. “Security guards at the house actually wore berets with the UN Security Council logo.” 

A security guard who was working at the house appeared shocked after Sunday’s raid.

“I was quite surprised when the police showed up. People always informed me that this was the Aceh representative office of the United Nations Security Council. I did not think it was anything else,” said the guard, who declined to give his name.

Locals living near the house said on Monday that they never really knew what the people who came and went from the house were doing.

“They kept their distance from locals,” said Arfiansyah, the head of a youth forum in Blower village.

Michele Zaccheo, a UN spokesman, said the UN had no association with the office.

“There is no such thing as a UN Security Council office in Banda Aceh. We have nothing to do with them,” he said.

Aceh Governor Irwandy Yusuf said on Sunday that he had visited the office to check on its activities on Saturday, a day before the police raid.

“I visited that office with Aceh Police officers. There were security staffers at the office acting as if they were really part of the UN. They also wore UN uniforms and berets,” Irwandy said.

“What is more perplexing to me is the fact that many people actually believed such blatant lies,” the governor added.[] 
Police Raid Fake UN Office in Aceh Police Raid Fake UN Office in Aceh Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on April 28, 2010 Rating: 5

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