Public Enemy

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Gunawan Santosa’s life took an unexpected turn for the worse. Two weeks ago he was still looking the part, dressed in blue jeans, Gucci shoes, a Dolce & Gabbana hat, and Armani glasses. On Friday two weeks ago, after attending an auto show at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC), he went window-shopping at Plaza Senayan, an elite shopping center in South Jakarta. While carrying a plastic bag full of automobile brochures, this well-built man visited a number of high-class shops, such as Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss, and Burberry.

Now everything has changed. As of Monday of last week, he has been in an isolation cell at the Cipinang Narcotics Prison, surrounded by special security measures. A surveillance camera constantly records the movements of this graduate of the University of Houston, in the United States. Gunawan Santosa, 43, sentenced to death for the murder of Boedyharto Angsono, the President Director of PT Asaba (Aneka Sakti Bakti), now resides in a 4x5-meter cell.

SANTOSA was arrested after a lengthy run from the law. On May 5, 2006, he escaped from Cipinang Prison. The murder of Boedyharto Angsono, his own father-in-law, got him into trouble with the law. Angsono, the boss of Asaba was killed on July 19, 2003 by Santosa’s hired men: 2nd Lieutenant Sam Achmad Sanusi, Corporal 2nd Class Suud Rusli, Corporal 2nd Class Fidel Husni, and Private 1st Class Santoso Subianto. All of these marines, except for Sam Achmad, who is still on the run, have been sentenced for their crimes.

Earlier, in 1999, Santosa was sentenced to two years and six months imprisonment by the West Jakarta District Court for a money manipulation case at Asaba worth Rp21 billion. This is what drove Santosa to take revenge against his former father-in-law. After serving some months of his sentence, he was able to escape. However, on July 27, 2002, officers arrested him at his villa in Cidahu, Sukabumi. He was then sent to a prison in Kuningan, West Java.

Before his prison sentence was over, Santosa had escaped again, this time on January 15, 2003. He drilled a hole in the roof of his cell and fled through the rear wall. After escaping from Kuningan, he altered his face and disguised his appearance. He also took up bodybuilding—swelling up the muscles in his arms and chest. He also changed his name, often introducing himself as Indra Amapta or Kevin Martin.

The murder of Boedyharto took place six months after Santosa escaped from Kuningan. Boedyharto, who liked to play basketball, was killed together with his private bodyguard, Sergeant 2nd Class Edy Siyep, while on his way to exercise at the Sasana Krida Building in Pluit, North Jakarta. According to the confessions of suspects Suud Rusli and others, Santosa masterminded the murder. The police intensified their search for him, until he was finally arrested at a rented house in Griya Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, on September 11, 2003.

On June 24, 2004, the North Jakarta District Court handed down the death penalty to this man with the piercing eyes. This time, Santosa was sent to the Cipinang Special Narcotics Prison. He stayed in Block C of the prison’s maximum-security facility. News about Santosa had almost completely died down, until on May 5, 2006, he was reported to have escaped, yet again, from Cipinang. The public was stunned.

Santosa’s escape enraged Justice & Human Rights Minister Hamid Awaluddin. Awaluddin, who took a look at Santosa’s cell—finding only some dry rice which he fed to his cat—immediately replaced Cipinang Prison warden, Wawan Suwandi and security chief, Taufiqurrahman. The prison’s security systems were also upgraded. Santosa enjoyed life as a wealthy man on the run, before finally being arrested two weeks ago.

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A Tempo source recounted how Santosa’s arrest at Plaza Senayan was made possible by those who had been “very close” to him. Since his escape, the source maintained, Boedyharto’s family had been concerned for their personal safety. They felt that Santosa was capable of doing anything to get rid of them. “For this reason, they always reported to the police if they saw anyone resembling Santosa,” said the source.

One eyewitness said that when Santosa was being arrested at Plaza Senayan and being hauled off to the Jakarta Police Station, there was a woman with an expression of panic going up and down the three floors of Plaza Senayan. This young woman even cried when she saw Santosa in handcuffs. “She ran close to Santosa when he was being taken outside the Plaza,” said the source, who works at Plaza Senayan. “However, she suddenly stopped and left with another man…”

However, Adj. Sr. Comr. Tornagogo Sihombing, head of the State Security Unit at the Jakarta Police, denied the news that Santosa’s arrest two weeks ago was due to information from the Boedyharto family. “The police have many sources. They were all concerned about Santosa being a fugitive.”

To hunt down Santosa at Plaza Senayan, police dispatched the team that had arrested Santosa four years ago. Even though it was difficult to recognize his face, the team members who had once questioned him for hours would still remember his voice. “When he spoke we were convinced that it was Santosa,” said one of the arresting officers.

According to Sihombing, the authorities had already blocked bank accounts in Santosa’s name. Therefore, if Santosa was able to travel about, including going overseas, it was not with money from his personal accounts. “He could not possibly take his money from the bank, because all of the accounts in his name were blocked,” said Sihombing.

He is right. When arrested in Senayan, police only found Rp239,000 in cash and two credit cards in his Louis Vuitton wallet. One was a credit card in the name of Calvin Satya issued by BRI, and the other was a BCA card with no name. These cards are now in the possession of Alamsyah Hanafiah, Santosa’s lawyer. “I don’t know what the balance of those cards is,” said Hanafiah, who is currently preparing for a case review for his client.

Hanafiah emphasized that the money Santosa used while on the run, including for the purchase of expensive goods, was obtained from business colleagues who owed him money. “Santosa personally collected on those debts,” said Hanafiah. “He did not say who they were or how much they owed,” said Hanafiah.

Santosa’s arrest came as a big relief to the Boedyharto family. “We are thankful to the authorities,” said Jerry A., an Asaba employee and spokesman for the Boedyharto family during the ordeal. According to Jerry, since Santosa fled, the Boedyharto family has constantly been afraid. “We had to be escorted by guards everywhere we went,” he said. According to Jerry, in addition to terrorizing the Boedyharto family, Santosa even terrorized the family of Paulus Tedjakusuma, the Asaba Financial Director who was also targeted to be killed by Santosa’s men. “The telephone threats would last from night to morning,” said Jerry.

From the beginning, Jerry and the Boedyharto family were not convinced that Santosa had fled and settled overseas. The Boedyharto family felt that he was hiding out somewhere around Jakarta, Sukabumi, the Lebak area, or Ujungkulon. “He likes being in remote areas and taking care of animals,” said Jerry, commenting on the habits of his former boss at Asaba.

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Santosa’s escape from the high-security Cipinang Prison was made possible by three duplicate keys provided by Wahyudin, one of the guards at Cipinang, on May 5, 2006. Wahyudin gave him the keys at about midnight. They were used to open the cell door and the prison’s main gate.

When he was being questioned, Santosa confessed that after he exited from the main gate, he boarded a public bus and headed for Jatinegara. There he changed buses and headed for Kota, West Jakarta. In the area of Lokasari, Santosa went to a beauty salon to alter his appearance. He had his long, untidy hair cut short and dyed blonde. “When Jakarta residents were still shocked by the news of his escape, he was hanging out at a salon,” said Sihombing.

From Jakarta, Santosa boarded a bus, heading for Sukabumi, West Java. This was his favorite area because he owns a villa there. However, he knew that police would find him there, so he decided to stay at a hotel. The next day, traveling by bus, Santosa continued his journey to Semarang. After staying the night at a small roadside hotel, he flew to Denpasar. The ticket had already been prepared for him in advance.

Santosa stayed in Bali for about a week. He took on the guise of a tourist, always wearing sunglasses and a hat when traveling about. He changed his accommodations often, sometimes staying in Denpasar, sometimes in the Ubud area. There, he rented a room at a home belonging to a resident. Santosa “vacationed” in Bali for about a month before crossing over to Lombok.

After a week in Lombok, Santosa returned to Denpasar and then flew out to Jakarta. Here he began making his preparations to hide out to Singapore. In early June 2006, traveling by land, via Lampung, Palembang and Medan, Santosa arrived in Batam. From there, he boarded a ferry and crossed over to Singapore.

However, he could not stay there for long. There was a problem with his documents. The name on his ID card, photo, and passport did not match. Sometime in August of the same year, Santosa had to return to Jakarta. Through a friend, he was finally able to obtain a new ID card with the name Calvin Satya from Lebak, Banten. This was also the name printed on his new passport.

With these documents, Gunawan “Calvin” Santosa stayed in Singapore for eight months. In Singapore, Santosa made numerous trips to Malaysia and China. He lived the life of a nomad in these three countries, switching hotels, and occasionally finding himself in the arms of different women. “He claimed he was accompanied by women in those countries,” said one police officer.

The Directorate General of Immigration confirmed that Gunawan Santosa could not have left Indonesia under his own name. “His name is on the banned list,” said Cecep Soepriatna, a spokesman for the Immigration Office. Another part of his story surfaced in Batam. According to Ucu Sudjono, Chief of Inspection at the Batam International Port, the names Calvin and Santosa are indeed listed among those who crossed over to Singapore. However, Sudjono could not confirm if this was Gunawan Santosa, the death-row inmate. “It needs to be matched with his passport number,” he said.

Although Santosa is now back in a cell in Cipinang, police still have much homework to do. So far, for instance, police have still been trying to track down who has been providing Santosa with money, who made his fake ID and passport, and who helped him while on the run in Sukabumi, Semarang, and Bali. Sihombing, for one, is investigating if any of the authorities were involved in aiding Santosa escape or in making any of his fake identities. “We are still tracking it all down,” said Sihombing.

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