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Viral ‘cremation cartel’ in West Jakarta, vice governor of DKI asks entrepreneurs not to make a profit

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Jakarta

The Deputy Governor of DKI Jakarta has warned entrepreneurs and foundation owners not to make a profit by raising cremation prices during the COVID-19 pandemic. This follows reports from residents of West Jakarta about alleged cremation cartel practices.

“We are telling any private parties, foundations or community groups that have cremation businesses, please in difficult times like this, when we are fighting the COVID pandemic. There is a virus that is a disaster for all of us, please don’t try during this pandemic making excessive profits from an unreasonable set of tariffs,” Riza said at DKI Jakarta City Hall, Jl Medan Merdeka Selatan, Monday (7/19/2021).

Riza appealed to entrepreneurs to determine the correct rates for cremation services. He asked all parties to help each other in coping with the Corona pandemic.

“So we ask the private sector, any foundation that has a cremation business, to make a reasonable, appropriate and affordable price. Instead, we hope that we can help our neighbors who are in trouble with the highest price,” said he.

Riza also said that DKI’s provincial government is currently planning to prepare a crematorium facility. This is to facilitate the crematorium for the residents at an affordable price.

“The provincial government does not have a cremation site (so) it is being studied so that we can monitor it properly and provide affordable prices for the community in the future. It is being studied,” he added.

As is well known, the alleged cremation cartel was conveyed via a chain message that went viral in the community. The chain message was titled ‘extorted by the Cremation Cartel’. The content is the story of a resident of West Jakarta.

The resident admitted that he was offered help in finding a crematorium for his mother who died of COVID-19 by a so-called funeral director. The person said the cremation can be done outside Jakarta at a rate of Rp 45-65 million.

The resident also complained about the cost of cremation, which amounts to tens of millions of rupiahs, as his brother’s body was previously cremated for less than Rp 10 million. The incident is said to have taken place on July 12, 2021.

The DKI Jakarta Provincial Government has been monitoring residents’ reports through the DKI Jakarta City Park and Forest Service. As a result, his party prevented their officers from accepting the delivery of bodies outside the city after the spike in COVID-19 cases in Jakarta.

“We found that on July 12, 2021, none of our agents brought the cremated bodies outside of Jakarta. The bodies cremated in Karawang were brought by the family themselves,” said DKI Jakarta City Parks and Forest Service (Distamhut) chief Suzi. Marsitawati in a written statement from the DKI provincial government, Sunday (7/18/2021).

He fired the Black Cross Distamhut officers of DKI province of Jakarta as brokers. According to Suzi, Distamhut agents only provide information to hospitals and families about private cremation sites that receive COVID-19 bodies outside of Jakarta and do not deliver bodies outside the city due to increased funeral services in the city.

“Our officers have only communicated that crematoriums in Jakarta do not accept the cremation of COVID-19 bodies and those that can accept are crematoriums outside Jakarta,” he said.

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