A 25-year-old man has been arrested in Denpasar for alleged arson, with authorities citing him being recently laid off and unable to find a job amid the pandemic as a motive for his crime.


The suspect, identified by his initials AB, set a car on fire earlier this week, footage of which went viral on social media, prompting an official investigation by the police. 

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“He was doing it for kicks, unleashing his disappointment for having been laid off at work. All throughout the coronavirus outbreak he hasn’t worked,” H Andi Muh Nurul Yaqin, who heads the criminal investigation unit at West Denpasar sub-precinct, said in a statement yesterday.  

Yaqin said the burned car had no connection to AB’s previous employers, adding that the suspect confessed to having committed arson on seven different occasions, including on three food stalls in Denpasar city and the covers of two random cars. 

AB has been charged with arson under the criminal code (KUHP), which carries a maximum sentence of 12 years in prison. 

According to data from Bali’s Manpower Agency, by early June, more than 73,000 people had been furloughed and around 2,600 were laid off in the province due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

Read more news and updates from Bali here.

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