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Indonesian police investigate celebrities and influencers promoting online gambling

Indonesian police intensify efforts to curb online gambling, probing celebrities and influencers suspected of promoting such activities on social media. Legal action looms for violators.



INDONESIA: The Directorate of Cyber Crime (Dittipidsiber) of the Indonesian National Police (Polri) is intensifying efforts to combat online gambling activities.

In a recent development, the police are investigating a number of celebrities and influencers suspected of promoting online gambling websites.

The statement was made by Brigadier General Adi Vivid Agustiadi Bachtiar, Director of Cyber Crime at Bareskrim Polri. However, Vivid did not disclose the identities of the celebrities and influencers involved.

“We are currently conducting monitoring, profiling, and data collection first,” Vivid told reporters on Thursday (31 Aug). He explained that if indications of online gambling promotion are found, they will follow up with a clarification summons.

The Indonesian Police (Polri) have issued a warning to celebrities and influencers on social media, urging them not to promote online gambling sites.

The police have also threatened legal action against anyone found violating the laws and regulations.

“Recently, the Cyber Crime Division took legal actions against influencers who promoted online gambling. Therefore, if there are still influencers, celebrities, and others who promote online gambling, we will take legal steps against them,” Vivid explained.

Adi Vivid Agustiadi Bachtiar emphasized that online gambling could have psychological impacts on its participants, including stress, depression, anxiety disorders, and even leading to criminal activities.

He highlighted the potential dangers of addiction comparable to drug addiction, which can lead to impoverishment and other negative consequences.

Earlier, the Bareskrim Polri had announced plans to question actress Wulan Guritno, an actress, model, presenter, entrepreneur, and producer of Indonesian descent with Javanese and English origins, over allegations of promoting online gambling sites. This was prompted by a viral video on social media.

“We will conduct a clarification, summoning the concerned parties. As mentioned earlier, we will examine whether the elements are fulfilled or not. Other influencers are also welcome to come forward,” Vivid stated at the National Police Headquarters in South Jakarta on Wednesday (30 Aug).

According to Vivid, the video in which Wulan Guritno promoted an online gambling site named Sakti123 was created in 2020.

In the video, Wulan Guritno claimed that the website was a certified online gaming platform. The online gambling website in question was found to still be active.

“I urge and appeal to influencers who have a substantial number of followers and can influence netizens, such as celebrities and influencers, not to engage in or promote online gambling,” he stated.

“Regarding influencer issues, they could be subject to the Electronic Information and Transactions Law (UU ITE) Article 45 paragraph 2 in conjunction with Article 27 paragraph 2, with a penalty of up to 6 years in prison and a fine of around IDR 1 billion,” he added.

Vivid acknowledged that they have identified several other celebrities, influencers, and artists suspected of promoting online gambling.

He affirmed that they are following up on these findings, and if criminal elements are present, legal proceedings will be initiated.

“We will see whether, in cases where websites are no longer operational, we will still summon them. We will reiterate the warning.

However, it is noted that endorsements of gambling in the past will be clarified to determine who is still active and who is not,” Vivid emphasized.

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