The Medan Police in North Sumatra arrested 45-year-old Joniar Nainggolan and 41-year-old Benni Eduward Hasibuan for allegedly spreading a hoax after the two published a video on YouTube.
In the video, a police officer is accused of failing to pay his vehicle tax.
The police arrested the two YouTubers on Tuesday after Joniar’s channel, Joniar News Pekan (Joniar News Weekly), published the video on Aug 10.
The video shows both YouTubers exposing that a car registered in the name of a police officer named Johansen Ginting was in possible tax arrears of Rp 3.7 million (S$340).
The YouTubers said they managed to find out about the alleged tax arrears after checking the plate number with the North Sumatra Vehicle Document Registration Centre online database.
The Medan Police’s criminal investigation unit head Comr. Martuasah Tobing said Johansen objected to the YouTubers’ accusation, adding that they had produced a video with false information.
“[Johansen] said he was angered by the incident and decided to report it to the police,” Martuasan said on Tuesday as quoted by tribunnews.com.
The police said the arrest was made as Joniar and Benni were accused of spreading a hoax, charging them under articles 45 and 45A of the 2008 Electronic Information and Transactions Law, which carries a maximum sentence of six years’ imprisonment.
A preliminary investigation showed that the detainees’ accusation was false as a number of witnesses, including local tax officers, proved that Johansen had paid his taxes on time, said Martuasah.
While Joniar is the owner of Joniar News Pekan (Joniar News Weekly) channel, Benni has his own channel named benni eduard. The Joniar News Pekan and benni eduard channels have 115,000 and 671,000 followers, respectively. Both channels offer citizen journalistic content.