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March 29, 2011

Irzen Octa was a minor businessman and secretary general of the National Unifying Party (PPB), a small Indonesian party.

 On March 29, 2011, aged 49, he was found outside a Citibank branch in Jakarta and died of a brain hemorrhage on the way to hospital. The police found traces of blood on the wall and curtains of a fifth-floor room.

 In connection with the crime, police arrested three third-party Citibank debt collectors.

 In late September 2011, the prosecution announced that five third-party debt collectors would be charged, including three for false imprisonment (carrying a maximum sentence of eight years).

Irzen Octa left a wife and two teenage daughters. His widow is suing Citibank for three trillion rupiahs (roughly 350 million US dollars).

The case has severely affected the reputation of Citibank Indonesia, which was also faced with a spectacular case of embezzlement by one of its employees around the same time. Bank Indonesia banned Citibank for two years from processing new credit card applications and outsourcing debt collection.


Bank Indonesia has told embattled Citibank to stop processing new credit card applications pending the investigation into the death of Irzen Octa, an alleged victim of violence by Citibank debt collectors.

Citibank Indonesia vice president for customer care, Hotman Simbolon, told The Jakarta Post on Thursday that the ruling was a sanction in addition to another sanction handed down on Wednesday to freeze new Citigold service applications.

“These are the sanctions imposed by BI on Citibank so far,” Hotman said.

The freezing of Citigold is related to the alleged embezzlement of at least Rp 17 billion (US$2 million) in client funds implicating its senior relationship manager Inong Malinda aka Malinda Dee.

Hotman, however, assured that other Citibank banking operations would continue including services for existing Citibank credit card holders.

Citibank is scheduled to meet the House of Representatives on Friday at 2 p.m. to hear recommendations from the House following its recent probes into the case.

Remember Irzen Octa? He’s the Citigroup customer who was allegedly killed by three debt collectors after they got angry when he contested his bill. Octa’s widow is now suing the bank for $348 million and while the trio admit they may have laid a few hands on him, claim they weren’t responsible for his death.

After dropping his younger daughter at school, Octa walked into Citibank’s credit card collection department on the fifth floor of the Jamsostek tower just after 10 a.m. Four hours later, he left the 25-story building slumped motionless in a wheelchair — a victim of what police allege was a violent assault by debt collectors. Driven to a nearby hospital in a Citibank car, Octa was pronounced dead on arrival.There are starkly conflicting versions of what happened inside the room, barely larger than a broom closet, where Octa spent most of the time from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 29…Three collectors met with Octa in the Citibank office. Their attorney says they acknowledge that one of them “tapped” Octa on the shoulder, kicked his chair and thumped a table, but they claim the businessman died of natural causes. They say that brain damage identified in an autopsy was caused by a stroke and that Octa was still alive when he was taken to the hospital.


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