Unrelated clips combined in video falsely shared as 'Indonesian legislators arrested for bribery'

·5 min read

A video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times in social media posts that claim it shows the Indonesian anti-corruption agency arresting three lawmakers for accepting bribes from a high-ranking police officer, now a suspect in a murder case. But the claim is false. The footage comprises several unrelated clips. The anticorruption agency has not announced any such arrests.

The video has been viewed more than 283,000 times since it was posted here on YouTube on August 27, 2022.

The video is titled: "3 Members of Parliament who Accepted Bribe Money From Ferdy Sambo Were Officially Arrested Today.."

Screenshot of the misleading post, taken on September 16, 2022

 

Ferdy Sambo is a former internal affairs chief of Indonesia's national police who was fired after he was named a suspect in the murder case of his own aide de camp that has gripped the nation.

The national police have also named Sambo's wife, Putri Candrawathi, as a suspect.

The eight-minute video consists of various clips. Its opening scenes appear to show a press conference by Indonesia's anticorruption commission, known as KPK. Its officials are heard talking about "arrests of state officials" for "alleged bribery".

Political commentary clips are then interspersed between footage of the press conference and scenes of Sambo being escorted by other policemen.

The first political commentary scene, which can be seen at the 50-second mark of the misleading video, shows Indonesian law expert Refly Harun talking about "possible sources of Ferdy Sambo's money".

The second scene from the 1:20 mark shows an unidentified man talking about "three Indonesian lawmakers who have been arrested by the KPK", without naming anyone.

At  2:22-second mark, the footage shows Indonesian anti-corruption activist Boyamin Saiman talking about unscrupulous Indonesian politicians.

The last clip, seen at 3:21 mark, shows Arsul Sani, an Indonesian MP from the United Development Party (PPP), talking about law enforcement officials' lavish lifestyles.

The second half of the video includes a female narrator reading from an Indonesian-language news report about the murder case.

The video was shared alongside a similar claim on Facebook here and here and on YouTube here and here, with a combined 554,000 views.

However, the claim is false.

As of September 19, 2022, there have been no official announcements on the KPK website about arrests of any Indonesian lawmakers for supposedly receiving bribes from Ferdy.

Unrelated videos

Reverse image searches using keyframes from the video found the opening were taken from a news report from Kompas TV on YouTube on August 21, 2022.

It shows the KPK announcing that Karomani, the rector of state-run Lampung University, as a suspect in an entrance test fee bribery case.

The officials at the press conference were KPK acting spokesperson Ali Fikri,  deputy chairman Nurul Gufron and investigation director Asep Guntur Rahayu.

"During an operation held on Friday, August 19, 2022, around 9:00 pm West Indonesia Time, the KPK arrested eight people in Lampung, Bandung and Bali. The first person [arrested] was KRM, the rector of Lampung University for 2020-2024 period," Ghufron said in the video, referring to Karomani as KRM.

Below are screenshot comparisons of the misleading video (left) and the original Kompas TV report (right):

Screenshot comparisons of the misleading video (left) and the original Kompas TV report (right)

Google reverse image search of keyframes of the other clips were able to identify three of four clips included later in the misleading video.

The video of law expert Refly was taken from the 2:10 mark of this video, posted on his verified YouTube channel on August 15, 2022.

In the video, Refly discussed a statement from the chairman of the independent Indonesia Police Watch (IPW), Sugeng Imam Santoso, who claimed Sambo had bribed several individuals, including a couple of lawmakers to help cover up the murder of his aide.

Sugeng had not named anyone and later walked back his claim, saying he misspoke in an interview.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the scene in the misleading video (left) and the original video from Refly's YouTube channel (right):

Screenshot comparison of the scene in the misleading video (left) and the original video from Refly's YouTube channel (right)

The clip which shows anti-corruption activist Boyamin Saiman can be seen at the 2:50 mark of this news report from Indonesian broadcaster tvOne.

The report -- headlined "With their high salary, why are there still corrupt lawmakers?" -- was uploaded to YouTube on September 27, 2021, nearly a year before the murder of Sambo's aide on July 8, 2022.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the scene in the misleading post (left) and the original video from tvOne (right):

Screenshot comparison of the scene in the misleading video (left) and the original video from tvOne (right)

The last clip of lawmaker Arsul Sani is from this 2017 news segment by Indonesian broadcaster Berita Satu, where he said the death sentence would not serve as a deterrent against corruption.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the scene in the misleading video (left) and the original video from Berita Satu (right):

Screenshot comparison of the scene clip in the misleading video (left) and the original video from Berita Satu (right)

Corruption allegation

The news report being read in the final part of the misleading video was published by Indonesian news outlet Tribunnews on August 26, 2022.

The article reported Sugeng's testimony at parliament the previous day, during which he recounted how several lawmakers contacted him to defend Sambo.

It was in the same occasion that he made a clarification that he had a "slip of tongue" during a media interview and he found no lawmakers had been bribed by Sambo, as reported here and here.