Indonesia Security Threats

Data and information about security threats from Indonesia’s black market. Intelligence data and security information collected from government agencies, news articles and other public data sources.


Through mid November 2013, security agents at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Indonesia recorded 83 cases of drug smuggling. The number of cases was higher than the 39 cases reported in 2012 and the 52 cases reported in 2011 by criminal justice programs.

Among the way that smugglers were bringing in drugs into the country was by inserting heroin into curtain rings and mailing it via international courier air services.

Source:  “Drug smuggling at airport on the rise,” Jakarta Post, November 20, 2013.

In 2013, wildlife charities launched educational campaigns that aimed to lower the consumption of shark fin. Fisherman would cut the fins off of sharks in order to be used in soups that were served in high-end restaurants in Hong Kong and China. The results of the campaigns have been very successful, as many restaurants no longer serve shark fin soup.

Due to the lower demand for shark fin, fisherman who made their living in the Asia Pacific region have seen their income drop. According to media reports, fisherman who caught shark fins previously made several hundred dollars per month. In late 2013, as the demand for shark fin declines, the fisherman are now only earning between $37 to $46 per month (40 to 50 Australian Dollars).

In order to find new incomes, many of the fisherman are turning to human smuggling. Reports indicate that fisherman in Indonesia are using their boats to transports asylum seekers to Australia. A captain of  a human smuggling boat can earn up to $2,327 (2,500 AUD).  The crew members of the smuggling boat can earn between $930 to $1,396 (1,000 to 1,500 AUD).

(More prices and fees for human smugglers.)

Source:  Kate Evans, “Drop in shark fin prices lures people smugglers,” ABC Radio Australia, November 14, 2013.

A report released by Human Rights Watch (HRW) states that the Indonesian government has lost over $7 Billion in revenue from 2007 to 2011 due to illegal logging activities and government corruption.

In 2011 alone, the estimated lost revenue was over $2 Billion, which HRW stated is more than the government’s entire budget for the health department.

In an example of corruption in Indonesia, one policeman made nearly $1 Million by helping protect illegal loggers and fuel smugglers in the region.

Source:  Berni Moestafa, “Forest Misuse Costs Indonesia $7 Billion in Revenue, Report Says,” Bloomberg, November 10, 2013.

According to the National Commission for Child Protection, there have been 21 girls between the ages of 14 to 16 who have been caught pimping out other girls in Indonesia in 2013.

One 17 year old girl told the Associated Press that she started pimping girls at the age of 14. At the peak of her operation, she had nearly 30 girls working for her as prostitutes. The girl was making up to $3,000 a month as a pimp. In one transaction, a client paid nearly $2,000, a BlackBerry and a motorcycle in order to have sex with a girl who was a virgin. The child pimp made $500 from that transaction.

In a separate case, a 15 year old girl who was employing 10 prostitutes was collecting 25 percent of the $50 to $150 per transaction that men were paying her workers. The girls who were working as prostitutes was the child pimps classmates and Facebook friends.

The International Labor Organization estimates that there are between 40,000 to 70,000 children who are sexually exploited in Indonesia each year.

Source:  Associated Press, “‘The money was too strong to resist’: Indonesian kids pimp out other kids for sex,” NBC News, October 30, 2013.

According to estimates by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, organized crime racketeering in Indonesia generates up to $1 Billion a year.

Most of the funds is generated through illegal drug trafficking. Illegal logging activities also contribute to their black market income.

Source:  Hotli Simanjuntak, “Indonesia must address transnational crimes: UNODC,” Jakarta Post, October 29, 2013.

During the second quarter of 2013, cloud-computing firm Akamai reported that 38 percent of cyber attacks worldwide was traced back to IP addresses located in Indonesia. The number of attacks from Indonesia increased from 21 percent in the first three months of 2013.

China previously had the most cyber attacks sourced to its country, with 34 percent in the first quarter of 2013. In the second quarter, it registerd 33 percent of online attacks. The United States was third with 6.9 percent of attacks.

The company also saw a 54 percent increase in distributed denial-of-service (DDos) attacks during the three month period.

In total, Akamai observed cyber attacks originating from IP addresses located in 175 different countries during the second quarter of 2013.

Full Report (PDF):  Akamai, “The State of the Internet, 2nd Quarter, 2013 Report,” October 16, 2013.

Media Source:  Lily Kuo, “Indonesia just passed China as the world’s top apparent source of cyber attacks,” Quartz, October 16, 2013.

The World Wildlife Fund in Indonesia reported that smugglers are profiting from the price difference in sea turtle eggs in Indonesia and Malaysia.

In Indonesia, the price of a single turtle egg at local markets costs $0.13 (1,500 Indonesian Rupiah). In Malaysia, the price of a single turtle egg is $0.23 (2,600 Rupiah).

Turtle egg smuggling has been an issue facing nature protection officials in Indonesia. Around 2,000 green turtles nest at one beach in Indonesia each year. In 2009, wildlife activities reported that 2,146 turtle nests had eggs taken from them. After local police increased surveillance, the percent of looted nests decreased to 26 percent in 2011 and 22 percent in 2012.

In 2013, egg smuggling has increased in the villages of Sebubus and Temajuk, where the number of nests ransacked increased by 40 percent and 95 percent.

(Prices of the illegal wildlife trade.)

Source:  Severianus Endi, “Sea turtle egg smuggling on the rise,” Jakarta Post, October 6, 2013.

In an example of the amount of bribes that are paid out in Indonesia, the Chief Justice of the country’s constitutional court was arrested in 2-13 after accepting a bribe of more than $250,000. The bribe was paid out in regards to a disputed election case.

In another example, the head of the oil and gas regulator was arrested in Jakarta after receiving over $600,000 in bribe money.

And a former traffic police chief was arrested with $18 Million in assets despite his official salary of $1,000 a month.

(More cases of political corruption and its impact.)

Source:  AFP, “Top Indonesian judge arrested for alleged bribery,” Global Post, October 3, 2013.

Security officers with oil company Pertamina in Indonesia state that up to $22 Million (250 Billion Indonesian Rupiah) was lost to oil theft between January 1 to July 23, 2013.

In 2012, the company lost $52 Million to oil theft.

An international report on oil theft and smuggling reported that the Petamina pipeline in South Sumatra losses about 1,000 barrels per day to theft and bunkering.

Source:  “Indonesia Among Destinations for Stolen Nigerian Oil: Report,” Jakarta Globe, September 20, 2013.

Between 2000 and 2009, Malaysia imported 6,898 tonnes of shark fins, according to data released by CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).

Between 2002 and 2011, fisherman  caught 231,212 tonnes of sharks in the waters surrounding Malaysia. The shark catch figures for the country represented 2.9 percent of global shark catches. During this time period, Indonesia and India were responsible for over 20 percent of the global shark catches worldwide.

(Prices of endangered animals for sale on the black market.)

Source:  Rashvinjeet S. Bedi, “Malaysia plays a big role in global trade of sharks, says wildlife network Traffic,” Star, August 16, 2013.